Megan Palumbo & Mackenzie Dineen- Sports Editor & 1851 Staff
Rumors have been flying around campus about the Wass and Wolfe renovation project for a few months, leaving many students questioning the true timeline of events. There have been complaints about the buildings’ outdated infrastructure and rooms, and the school has agreed to remodel the space to its full potential. “We chose to work with Commodore Builders based out of Waltham, Mass., because out of all the vendors they took the space we had and applied a really innovative design with ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas. They have a quality project team with many years of experience,” said Michael Hoyle, Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Lasell.The project, expected to take 33 months, was cut down to 19 months with Commodore Builders. The school is starting reconstruction in May 2016 and the estimated ending time is December 2017.
A major concern with this project is money and where it is coming from. “In total this is a $23 million project. Lasell is taking out a ten million dollar loan, using seven million dollars from its savings, and the school is fundraising the remaining six million dollars,” said Hoyle.
The project will have a dramatic impact on students, according to Diane Parker, the Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance. The new structures will be equipped for a more effective learning environment, and will contain tools that will aid professors to teach in different ways. Parker has been working with Hoyle on the planning and execution of the project, and conferring with professors to assure that the classrooms fit a professor’s needs.
An addition is going to be built between Wolfe and Wass, after which Wass will be knocked down, and what Parker “affectionately refers to as a bump-out,” will be attached to the new construction, and Wolfe will be remodeled. Wolfe was built ten years after Wass and is more structurally sound, and can be remodeled, whereas Wass cannot.
The building will house a glass-encased bookstore, and a small café. This modern space for learning and socializing will be open and outfitted with movable furniture, TV’s, and computer screens. There will also be lab space, and plenty of charging stations.
The new buildings will be more sustainable than the current situation in Wass and Wolfe, which are energy inefficient. The two buildings are heated by an “ancient” boiler which sends steam to both buildings. As a result the temperature cannot be adjusted, and Wolfe and Wass are either too hot or too cold. The new buildings will be regulated by a new, energy efficient boiler and each room will have its own thermostat.
Updated windows will deflect heat in the summer and maintain heat in the winter. Heated sidewalks will be installed to ensure student safety, prevent cancellations, landscaping damage, and remove the cost of having snow removed.
The project is Lasell’s largest to date. According to Parker it is going to “take a village.” In the meantime classes will be held in modular pods, which have walls, ceilings, and carpets.