ConstructionNEC's Director of Operations Mike Ryan calls it the "perfect storm." And it’s coming this fall. There’s going to be noise, dust, vibration, traffic and parking disruption, and temporary closure of some practice rooms.

The cause?

Three simultaneous construction projects.


The Huntington Ave. YMCA’s three-story, 23,000 square foot addition








Northeastern University’s 720-bed, 17-story, $75 million dormitory







NEC’s $3.7 million mitigation project that includes air conditioning, soundproofing, and other stabilization work.








And much of the work is happening within 18 inches of NEC’s Jordan Hall building! The photo at right shows the backs of the YMCA and Jordan Hall buildings, and the thin band of light where the two buildings almost meet.

What’s the timetable?

  • NEC’s construction: summer 2012—November 2012.
  • The Y’s project began summer 2012, with demolition of its old gym beginning October.
  • Northeastern’s project gets underway in November 2012 and continues through summer 2014.

Brown Hall

How will it affect you?

It’s not going to be pretty. There will be heavy trucks on St. Botolph St., hundreds of workers, pile drivers, drills, excavating equipment, and other heavy machinery. The most severe impacts of noise, vibration, dust, and traffic disruption are likely to continue through fall 2013.

Add to that potential problems with

  • Indoor air quality
  • Parking behind Jordan Hall building
  • Foot traffic
  • Disruption of instruction, classes, practice, performance, recordings

What is NEC doing about it?

NEC has negotiated a formal, legal agreement that calls for $3.7 million in mitigation work to be paid for by Northeastern's developer, Phoenix Property Company. We are safeguarding NEC’s operations and buildings to the greatest extent possible. Indeed, one permanent benefit will be the air conditioning installed this summer in Brown and Williams Halls and several practice rooms and faculty studios in the Jordan Hall building.

The mitigation work also includes:

  • Acoustic treatment of windows
  • 24/7 precise electronic monitoring of noise levels, air quality, structural vibration, other safety and quality of life measurements. When certain thresholds are exceeded, Buildings Operation staff will notified instantly and correct measure taken.
  • Construction cessation periods that include evenings and weekends. Performances will not be affected.
  • Additional locations, careful scheduling, and other options if needed to accommodate student practice.

What can you do?

Stay informed! Check the following:

  • Bookmark the Update blog. We will post news frequently.
  • Dedicated Twitter channel, for regular news and alerts
  • NEC Facebook page
  • Digital displays in Jordan Hall and St. Botolph building lobbies
  • Text messages for breaking news via student mobile network
  • Most of all, we need everyone to have Patience!


E-mail Mike Ryan in the Operations Office at He and his staff will most likely be aware of severe problems even before you are, because of NEC's sensitive monitoring systems. Please understand you may not get a personal reply—Mike and his team are going to be flat-out managing “this perfect storm.”

building sketches courtesy Northeastern University; photos by Marie Von Kampen, Ellen Pfeifer