Media Advisory: October 4, 2019 Groundbreaking

DEPARTMENT(S): 
September 26, 2019

WPI to Break Ground on $80 Million “Smart” Hub

New Building Will Focus on Fostering Important “Connected World” Research Collaborations, Active Learning, Student Success, and Improving Campus Accessibility
 

Who:       WPI President Laurie Leshin
                WPI Provost ad interim Winston “Wole” Soboyejo
                Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.
                Representative, George I. Alden Trust

What:      With significant alumni, industry, and foundation support, WPI will break ground for a new academic building that will address the needs and opportunities of the “connected world,” while also connecting the campus community in important ways.

When:     Friday, October 4, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

Where:    Boynton Street Parking Lot (WPI Campus)

Why:       The numbers of “smart” devices and services in the world are rapidly expanding and changing how people live and work. This pace of progress brings both opportunities and challenges, and requires the focus of experts in areas such as data science, robotics, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, interactive media and game development, learning sciences and technology, bioinformatics, computational biology, neuroscience/engineering, architectural engineering, and smart design. 

Expected to open in January 2022, the 100,000-square-foot facility aligns with the university’s 5-year institutional plan and meets the goal of creating “physical spaces that encourage and amplify the aspirations of our university community.” Specifically, this new building will provide a base—and cultivate the environment—for WPI faculty members and researchers to work together and with partners from industry, governments, and academia to develop solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing problems in health, energy, transportation, and smart buildings and infrastructure.  

An embodiment of WPI’s values of sustainability and environmental stewardship, the building will include versatile learning spaces, as well as flexible research, collaborative, and graduate student space and faculty offices. It will also feature an integrated Student Academic Services Center, thereby physically connecting the offices of the Registrar, Academic Advising and Resource Center, Disability Services, and Career Development Center, in order to better assist students throughout their time at WPI. It will also improve navigation and accessibility from Boynton Street to the top of WPI’s hill, which will be especially meaningful to the eastern residential area, and academic programs and centers at Gateway Park.