South End Landmarks Approves Boston University Dental School Upgrades

November 10, 2017
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By Beth Treffeisen

The Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, located at 100 E Newton St., in the South End, will soon see some major improvements as part of the rehabilitation of the existing building and extensive landscaping upgrades.

The South End Landmarks Commission (SELC) approved the demolition of a one-story, 1970s cafeteria-addition that will be replaced with a two-story addition along with additional exterior updates at a hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The 1967, seven-story structure will remain, and the new two-story addition will wrap around it. The updated building will have an updated façade with wood paneling integrated with brick.

The new plans include activating the corner of Albany Street and East Newton Street with pocket gardens, a “porch” that is led up to with a stairway from street level. It will lead to a new patient entrance with a canopy on Albany Street.

“We have had a lot of meetings with city agencies and we are aware of the Abbey Group and the Flower Exchange project that is going to happen further down Albany St.,” said Michael Donovan, the vice president for real estate and facility services at Boston University.

“A lot of the design will be taking that into consideration, especially with the ‘porch.’ We are really trying to change that area because right now it’s very inhospitable and really unattractive, he said.”

Since working with the Boston Planning and Development Agency, which approved the project this past October and the Boston Civic and Design Commission, Donovan said the project team has made about 20 changes to the design.

“Whenever we work with the city agencies we always end up with better results,” said Donovan.

The SELC has purview over the height, setback, massing and landscape design of the building because it is located right outside of the historic district boundaries.

One change to make residents nearby happier was to reduce the amount of waste by making the building more environmentally friendly including reducing waste. This has allowed the loading dock to reduce in size.

“It looks like you are well in compliance,” said Chair John Amodeo. “It comes close to the district with East Brookline townhouses and the reduction of the loading area will be much appreciated by the neighbors.”

 

This project is not part of the Institutional Master Plan (IMP), which is why Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) is coming back with an amendment to add it. The dental school is part of a joint IMP with the Boston Medical Center (BMC).

The BMC was founded in 1996 and is the largest level one treatment center in New England. Currently they have 547 beds but their space will decrease with their future sale of the Newton Pavilion building in 2018.

The BUMC has three schools in the area including the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and the Goldman School of Dental Medicine. The student enrollment is 3,500 and the faculty and staff have about 3,000. The amount of student and staff has been level for the last three to five years.

“These numbers are not going to change from today with the addition,” said Donovan. “The traffic that is going in and out and the impact of the building will remain the same.”

After gaining demolition and building permits, the total construction of the addition is expected to take 36 to 39 months to complete. The school will continue to operate during construction, causing it to take longer than normal.

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