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Northeastern's Burlington campus to expand

Posted by Sara Brown  June 18, 2010 10:30 AM

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By Sara Brown, Town Correspondent

Burlington’s Planning Board Thursday approved a proposed expansion of Northeastern University’s Burlington campus.  The addition of the 60,000- to 70,000 square foot graduate-level engineering research center to the campus, which is off South Bedford Street, will nearly double the square footage of the campus buildings.

The project had the endorsement of the Board of Selectmen and the town administrator. 

The existing campus now consists of three buildings totaling 61,330 square feet. Northeastern has operated the campus since the land, formerly the site of a US Army Nike missile base, was acquired by the university from the federal government in 1963.

“Northeastern has always been a good neighbor to us in Burlington, and to have them expand in Burlington is a definite plus because it helps keep Burlington on the map and Northeastern is a good school,’’ said Ralph C. C. Patuto, the selectmen chairman and a Northeastern alumnus, told the Globe earlier this year.

Noting the new building would house a new specialized graduate-level program, he said, “It’s exciting to bring that level of education to Burlington.’’

The Globe reported in May that the existing three buildings on the Burlington campus are not suitable to accommodate Northeastern’s future plans for the campus.

Renata Nyul, Northeastern’s director of communications, said at the time that those buildings will no longer be used for classes as of the end of this term and their future use remains to be determined.

The new building would be constructed on a portion of the parking lot.

The potential expansion on the Burlington campus comes as Woburn has been in active negotiations with Northeastern to purchase Whispering Hills Woods, a 75-acre open space property in Woburn. The university has said it has also been approached by other potential buyers of the land, which was the site of a controversial housing proposal by a developer. The city successfully blocked that plan in a legal fight that concluded in 2008.



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