NEC’s Student Life and Performance Center and our community: a new hub for students and neighbors alike!

The proposed Student Life and Performance Center will create a distinctive and welcoming front door for NEC just off Boston’s Avenue of the Arts (Huntington Avenue).  It will provide an appealing destination for students and neighbors alike through the creation of attractive streetscapes, accessible performance venues, and public dining facilities.

As we have assured our neighborhood community, NEC has no plans to increase its enrollment. We have determined that the current 750 full-time students are the ideal maximum to maintain the supportive and nurturing environment of which we are so proud.  Similarly, we intend to house more students on campus than we currently do to reduce the demand students make on privately owned housing stock in the surrounding neighborhoods—and to enhance our students’ social lives and sense of share community.

In order to accomplish these goals, we need to “decompress” our cramped facilities. And we can do that without enlarging the campus footprint, which comprises the four buildings and parking lot surrounding the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Gainsborough Street. By building on our St. Botolph parking lot, we can realize our dreams, while still maintaining a compact, interconnected, educational/residential hub.

This plan (and the building’s design by Ann Beha Architects/Gensler) received the enthusiastic endorsement of our neighbors as part of the City of Boston’s permitting process. Indeed, in July 2012, we received the official go-ahead to proceed.