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News and Events/BCS News
BCS Moves to a New Building (bcsp)

July 2005

For years, talks about a new building existed only in our imaginations. Then, a daunting steel skeleton outlined the image of what the building would look like. Now, in the final stages of development, we can picture details of where to put that chair and how to hang this plant. The building is still on schedule to be ready for the move this fall.

Senior Project Development Manager, Arne Abramson, says the building is progressing very well. The building recently installed chilled water for air conditioning; the heat was already installed for the winter months. Although Arne confirms that the building is in the final stages of development, he says that it will be a sprint to the finish. The building is in the “punch list stage” which means that it is currently being done room by room. Faculty and staff take tours of the building and can actually visualize what their new work space will look like.

Arne gives “cautious good news” because there is still one hurdle left: city inspections. Inspections start late July and run through September. Inspections check for electrical wiring, plumbing, building codes and fire codes. The move, as of now, is scheduled for mid-September. Arne says that “there has never been a project in history that did not have to adjust items after inspections.” The question is how many items? And how long will it take? Passing inspections is the final milestone in completing the project. Then, after necessary adjustments, the project will be granted a certificate of occupancy. The certificate is required to move furniture, new and old, into the building.

With over 900 pages of drawing, it is no wonder Arne claims that the magnitude and complexity of the building has been the most daunting part of this project. The building has 411,000 gross square footage; 207,000 of which is assignable space. After several revisions the building has finally reached its final stages. The assignable space encompasses a wide range of offices, classrooms, conference rooms, labs, libraries, and lounges.

Now that the building has finally materialized in front of our eyes, we have to start worrying about the little things. What equipment will be moved? What should be thrown out? Do I really need a twenty year old machine? Parting with equipment may be harder than we realize. But is it the equipment we'll miss? Or is it the comfort of a familiar space? Despite the anxiety of leaving a familiar place, attitudes are optimistic about moving to the new building.

Imagining the ideal workspace is easy to do in a building that has long windows, plenty of shelving and a spacious atrium. The building is less intimidating than its size would suggest. Serenity seeps in through natural light from large window panes. Warm and cool colors paint office halls, while asymmetrical geometric shapes cast shadows throughout the atrium.

The bcsp brings together three entities: the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. The 40th anniversary celebration of the department is planned to coincide with the inauguration of the new building on December 2, 2005.

-Written for BCS by Cassandra Harris