Summer construction winds down on the Hill

Scott Harris, at left, and Artie Plant work to restore brick at Cousens Gym as part of the summer construction on campus. Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily

As summer comes to a close, so do several construction projects on Tufts campus, including two dormitories, an athletics facility and a number of science and technology buildings. Some construction will continue into the fall and beyond, despite the completion of work on most student-used facilities.

Hodgdon Hall and Carmichael Hall, which house both students and campus dining spaces, underwent a number of renovations over the past three months. While the work on Carmichael Hall revolved around structural updates, renovations in Hodgdon Hall resulted in upgrades to student living spaces.

Operations Administrative Program Manager Jeanne Carr Quealy said that Hodgdon now features new bathrooms, common areas and doors as well as freshly painted dorm rooms and a new bike storage room. The construction also expanded the handicap-accessible student rooms and common spaces.

Following the construction of the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center in 2012, the adjoining Cousens Gymnasium underwent a series of renovations this summer as well, including an upgraded ventilation system, repaired windows and a repaired roof, which will all help better control the temperature. These renovations are part of a multiphase project to overhaul the athletic and fitness equipment on the Medford/Somerville campus.

Further exterior work was completed on the facility at 574 Boston Ave. The building was originally an industrial warehouse built in the 1920s, but the facility has since been transformed into a four-floor academic building that will feature modern classrooms, large meeting rooms, research spaces, a cafe and more and will serve predominantly for Tufts’ science and engineering community.

Director of Strategic Capital Programs Barbara Stein said that 574 Boston Ave. won’t open for classes until fall 2015, but the building construction is planned for completion this March. Stein said that students would now be able to see the exterior of the building, as the scaffolding came off during the summer.

“It looks now almost like the renderings that the architect did,” Stein said. “We decided to make it look a little more contemporary to reflect Tufts looking forward to the future.”

The new facility will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and environmentally friendly to continue with Tufts’ focus on sustainability. Construction for 574 Boston Ave., which began last year, unfolded amid some controversy surrounding Tufts’ decision to evict the artisans who had been living in the building.

When the building opens for classes next year, Stein said she expects physics faculty and other science professors will occupy the newly available office spaces.

In March, construction will begin in Anderson Hall and Robinson Hall on the new Science and Engineering Complex. In the fall, utilities work will be done in the areas around the buildings.

“We’re not fully renovating Anderson and Robinson with this project,” Stein said. “We’re just doing a lot of work in there.”

Anderson and Robinson classrooms and bathrooms will not be affected by the adjacent pipe-work, Stein said. But those with courses inside the buildings will use an alternate entrance and exit from the main doors on Boston Ave.

Come March, Robinson will close for between one and two years while Anderson will remain mostly open, according to Stein. She added that spring courses in those buildings will move to alternate classrooms midway through the semester.