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Berklee tops off new 16-story dorm

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  December 4, 2012 03:15 PM

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(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for The last beam rises to the top of the 16-story dorm being built by Berklee College of Music at a topping off ceremony Tuesday. 

By Johanna Kaiser, Town Correspondent

Construction workers raised the final beam of Berklee College of Music’s new 16-story dorm, moving a significant step forward in the construction process.

Students, and city and school officials gathered at the construction site Tuesday to sign the last beam to be placed on top of the steel frame and celebrate at a short topping off ceremony.

“We had amazing cooperation from the city of Boston through this entire process…and all of our neighbors in the community who’ve been very excited about what Berklee is doing, and very patient with us knowing that a project like this actually can sometimes cause a little bit of disruption,” said Roger Brown, Berklee’s president. “

The school first celebrated at the site in November 2011 when it held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $100 million project. The building is expected to be complete before fall 2013

The building, at 160 Massachusetts Ave. between Belvidere and St. Germain streets is the first Berklee has built to expand its campus.

“We think this really is a transformational building for Berklee,” said Jeff Shames, chairman of Berklee’s board of trustees. “We think it will be a great addition to the neighborhood, to the city, and we’re looking forward to all the exciting events that are going to be here in the future.”

The 155,000-square-foot building will house 370 students, allowing Berklee to house all of its entering students on campus. That will help bring the school closer to its goal of housing 50 percent of its students on campus.

“We’re delighted to have Berklee expanding in a very significant way and doing it with the class that distinguishes them as a very, very important institution in our city,” Peter Meade, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The dorm will also have community rooms for students, practice and ensemble rooms, recording studios, a small fitness center, a 400-seat dining hall, an evening performance venue, and ground floor retail space.

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(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for Students, faculty, and workers signed the beam before it was lifted in the air. 

E-mail Kaiser at For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus visit’s Your Town homepage.

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