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Major campus moves seek to maximize use of university facilities, promote interdisciplinary research

Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

University officials have announced a space reconfiguration plan designed to maximize the use of research facilities, promote interdisciplinary research collaborations and enhance the identities of the university’s newest colleges.

Under the new plan, the majority of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) will move to the Renaissance Park building on Tremont Street, new classroom and lab space in Mugar and Hurtig Halls will be dedicated to the College of Science (COS) and the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) will expand from its base in Ryder Hall to the United Realty (UR) complex on Leon Street. The moves, which will be rolled out in phases, will take place over the next three to four years.

These moves are part of series of recommendations made by a planning committee appointed by Provost Stephen Director that included several deans and staff from the Office of the Provost and the facilities department. The university’s deans and other executive officers reviewed the committee’s recommendations.

The relocation plan is possible due to the university’s new long-term lease of the property at 140 The Fenway (formerly known as the Forsyth Institute), which will soon house the School of Pharmacy, the Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis and several offices and programs within the College of Engineering.

“We have worked hard in recent years to reorganize and strengthen our academic operations,” said Provost Director. “Now we are taking the next important step — to make sure that our campus properly supports education and research and Northeastern today. I would like to thank the many people from different units and departments who collaborated on this important space reconfiguration.”

The College of Engineering will use the newly available space in Dana, Egan and Forsyth Halls — originally designated to house these offices and programs moving to 140 The Fenway — to support faculty growth and expanding research programs.

The move of CSSH into Renaissance Park — with the exception of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which will remain in Churchill Hall — brings the college closer to International Village, which will strengthen the international emphasis of its curriculum and research. A distinctive street-level entrance will mark the college’s presence at building.

New space in Mugar and Hurtig Halls will be dedicated to the COS for the areas of biology and chemistry, as well as interdisciplinary research involving drug development. Additional plans for Mugar include housing the entire biology faculty on site, adding a College of Science student services center to the building and dedicating new space for the recently merged Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Marine Science Center faculty.

CAMD’s move to the UR complex — which includes Lake, Holmes, Meserve and Nightingale Halls — will enable the college to support new and future interdisciplinary faculty and programs. The new programs will be clustered together in areas of particular focus, such as network science, game design and cyber security.

The UR complex space will also be used to expand the information assurance and health informatics programs within the College of Computer and Information Science.