Construction Update

Across the three Tufts campuses, large and small projects are under way over the summer

construction work at Cohen Auditorium

Each year, as soon as most students leave for the summer and the buzz of campus life has abated somewhat, the Facilities Services Department gets busy. This year more than 60 projects—big and small, visible and hidden—are under way to renovate, upgrade and repair facilities on all three campuses.

Rudi Pizzi, the university’s director of projects administration, says that although some of the work may not be visible to the Tufts community, it is all essential. The majority of work is taking place on the Medford/Somerville campus. However, at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, the sheep barn is being replaced, and in Boston, the last phase of the Stearns exterior restoration at the Biomedical Research and Public Health Building is scheduled to be completed in November.

“It is very important for the university to maintain its existing buildings, site, infrastructure and equipment,” says Pizzi. “As we make these improvements, our investment through deferred maintenance will create a better environment for all in the Tufts community.”

The three major projects on the Medford/Somerville campus entail significant renovations at Cohen Auditorium and Halligan Hall and the completion of the Lawrence S. Bacow and Adele Fleet Bacow Sailing Pavilion on Upper Mystic Lake, named for the former Tufts president and his wife.

Construction of the Lawrence S. Bacow and Adele Fleet Bacow Sailing Pavilion on the Upper Mystic Lake in May. Photo: Alonso NicholsConstruction of the Lawrence S. Bacow and Adele Fleet Bacow Sailing Pavilion on the Upper Mystic Lake in May. Photo: Alonso Nichols

Cohen Auditorium, part of the Aidekman Arts Center complex, will get new seating and lighting, a fresh coat of paint and a new ceiling and floor. The additional seating will be accessible for people with disabilities, and the stage will now be accessible to those using wheelchairs. Less visible will be a new roof, new mechanical systems and repaired masonry.

When the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center opened last fall, the Athletics Department moved out of Halligan Hall next door and into the new facility, leaving 10,000 square feet of space for the School of Engineering. That area is being transformed into classrooms and offices. In addition, the front of Halligan Hall will get new windows, and its masonry will be restored.

The sailing pavilion project will provide space for Tufts’ fleet of 44 boats, a carpenter’s shop, locker rooms for home and visiting teams, a function room for team meetings and an observation deck for viewing practices and regattas.

Other summer facilities projects include:

● Tisch Library is undergoing the second phase of a two-part maintenance project. Last year, air-handling units were replaced to make air conditioning more efficient, and this year the exterior sealants will be replaced.

● The data center at the Tufts Administration Building (TAB) on Holland Street is undergoing a complete renovation, with upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems as well as new computer equipment.

● The Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center is in the second year of a two-phase redo. Last year repairs were made to the exterior; this year, mechanical systems and windows will be replaced, and roof work will be completed.

● Dowling Hall is undergoing some exterior repairs to the building and replacement of sealants.

● The Cousens Gym locker rooms and showers used by varsity athletic teams will be renovated, and bathroom fixtures and tiles replaced. In addition, the locker rooms for the men’s and women’s swim teams will be repainted and the lockers repaired.

● Carmichael Hall will have exterior work done, including replacement of lintels, sills and windows. One side of the building will be completed this year, and the other side next year. The brick will be repointed, and landscaping will be upgraded to include benches and bike racks. Miller Hall will also get new landscaping.

● Bathrooms in the Wren and Haskell residence halls will be renovated, with new plumbing, fixtures and floor tiles, as well as new ceilings and lighting. Common areas will be upgraded, and each building will have an accessible bathroom on the first floor for people with disabilities.

Marjorie Howard can be reached at  

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