Science Center Site Selected
This parking lot on Blackinton Street is expected to be the site of the new MCLA science center.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will hold a
groundbreaking ceremony site dedication ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 26, for the new science center.
(We got a our ceremonies mixed up; there will be a groundbreaking at a later date.)
The $54 million project will be located at what's now a dirt parking lot near the Student Wellness Center on Blackinton St. The MCLA Beacon reported last week that surveying of the site had begun and the soil was being tested before an official announcement is made.
The Center for Science and Innovation will be the first major construction since the townhouse dormitories were built nearly three decades ago. In the last decade, the college has renovated Murdock Hall and added a new front entrance and lobby to the tower dormitories.
The science center is a long time coming. It's been a priority of President Mary Grant and will be a strong symbol of the college's committment to STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Several sites around the densely populated campus have been suggested as possible locations, the most obvious being what's called Taconic Lawn, an open area off the Quad between Bowman Hall and the Amsler Campus Center and the Boardman Apartments across the street from Bowman.
James Stakenas, vice president of administration and finance, told the Beacon that mockups had been made for nine likely locations and student input had been taken into account. The unpaved parking lot is the lead site.
Students would lose 80 parking spaces; the college plans to purchase and partially demolish a warehouse on Ashland Street to create 65 more spaces.
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