Summer Construction Update

Many large and small projects are under way across the university

Exterior masonry work at Haskell Hall

Summer is here and Tufts construction projects are in full swing. Here’s a look at some of the campus improvements going on, and new buildings now nearly ready for fall.

Road and Sidewalk Construction: Extensive work is being done at the intersection of College and Boston avenues on the Medford/Somerville campus to resolve pedestrian safety concerns. Pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle flow will be improved by widening sidewalks, installing new

The intersection of College and Boston avenues was improved for pedestrians.  Photo: Anna MillerThe intersection of College and Boston avenues was improved for pedestrians. Photo: Anna Miller
curbing, and improving traffic signals, crosswalks and signs.

Science and Engineering Complex: After three years of design and construction, this $110 million interdisciplinary complex—a new glass-clad, five-story research wing adjoining Anderson and

The atrium skylight at the Science and Engineering Complex. Photo: Alonso NicholsThe atrium skylight at the Science and Engineering Complex. Photo: Alonso Nichols
Robinson halls—was completed this summer. Located at the intersection of Boston and College avenues on the Medford/Somerville campus, the SEC is expected to become a lively hub for collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching and research, and is part of the university’s vision to create a flourishing Science and Technology Corridor. Various faculty from the Biology, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical and Biological Engineering departments are moving into the new wing, have expertise in both environmental and biomedical fields. The SEC will also house a new lab for the Allen Discovery Center, focused on how cells communicate to create and repair complex anatomical shapes. In the research wing’s atrium, Tufts Dining is also putting the finishes touches on the sun-filled Kindlevan Café and common space.

Central Energy Plant: Construction is wrapping up on the new energy plant next to Dowling Hall on the Medford/Somerville campus. Online this fall, the plant will provide electricity, steam and hot water for heating and chilled water for cooling to the upper campus and is expected to reduce overall campus greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent. The plant will take advantage of the latest high-efficiency cogeneration technologies, which use a single fuel source to simultaneously generate heat and electricity on site. Summer work includes extending a loop of underground piping that will allow Tufts in the future to deliver cool water for air conditioning to buildings and labs.

Work continues on the Central Energy Plant, slated to go online this fall. Photo: Anna MillerWork continues on the Central Energy Plant, slated to go online this fall. Photo: Anna Miller

School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In Boston, work continues at both 230 The Fenway and 160 St. Alphonsus Street. Summer improvements include a new atrium smoke-exhaust system, building infrastructure upgrades and the renewal of several classrooms, including new flexible furniture and audiovisual technology. 

Learning Spaces: Strategic work to upgrade classrooms in support of teaching and learning continues this summer as Tufts introduces new furniture, lighting, window treatments and computer and audio visual technology in seven select classrooms in Cabot, Sophia Gordon Hall, Anderson Hall, Tisch Library and SciTech (4 Colby Street), all on the Medford/Somerville campus.

Energy Efficiency: Miner Hall and the historic Crane Room, part of Paige Hall—and originally a chapel—will become more energy efficient with the installation of 75 new insulated windows. Both are on the Medford/Somerville campus.

Residential Improvements: Maintenance projects on the Medford/Somerville campus will bring updates to older dormitories, including a new roof at Latin Way and masonry restoration at Haskell Hall.

Athletics: The Cousens Gym floor has been refinished. New sod and turf have also been laid at Ellis Oval.

Research: Starting this fall, Tufts is building out a new lab on the Medford/Somerville campus at SciTech (4 Colby Street) for Brian Timko, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering. Winner last year of the MIT Sloan Healthcare Innovations Prize and the Anesthesia Foundation Distinguished Trailblazer Award from Boston Children’s Hospital, Timko focuses his research on the intersection of materials science, chemistry and biology, in particular nanotechnology and nanoscale interfaces. 

Medical Education: At the School of Medicine in Boston, work continues on a new gross anatomy teaching lab on the third floor of the Biomedical Research and Public Health Building. Improvements include an expansion of the space, from 16 square feet per student to 30 square feet per student, state-of-the-art ventilation and lighting systems, and a new classroom. Work is on pace to be completed next year. 

Veterinary Education and Care: In Grafton, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is completing construction on an equine sports medicine complex, the centerpiece of which is a 96,000-square-foot indoor arena that will be used to observe and evaluate patients under saddle and over fences. The complex will support the Equine Sports Medicine and Surgical Service at the Hospital for Large Animals.

Laura Ferguson can be reached at

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