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Allston Updates & FAQs

SEC Residency Countdown Clock

Occupancy of the SEC and 114 Western Ave. will take place in a series of waves. The SEC is expected to obtain its Certificate of Occupancy in September 2020. The moves will occur starting November 2, 2020 and carry into early 2021. Undergraduate students are expected to have access to the buildings in time for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Move information and schedule (for faculty and staff; Harvard Key required)

Updated FAQs

Who is moving to Allston and when? Has the move plan changed with COVID?

Barring any new significant impacts from COVID-19, the moves will proceed according to the revised schedule. SEAS groups will move into the Science and Engineering Complex and 114 Western Avenue over the course of three and a half months beginning this November. Experimental research groups begin their moves the week of Nov. 2, SEAS staff begin their moves the week of Nov. 9, and non-experimental groups begin their moves the first week in December (after the conclusion of classes).
 
Five additional faculty research groups are part of Phase II and will move into the SEC later in the spring 2021 semester with completion of their Lab fit-outs.

How/when will I get to see the new space?

Though the Certificate of Occupancy at the SEC is targeted for Sept. 1, 2020, there will still be active construction activity in September and October, and access to the SEC will be limited to construction crews or field staff preparing for SEAS occupancy in November. Once SEAS faculty, staff, and students begin moving into the building in November, access to the SEC building will be limited to SEAS faculty, staff, and researchers approved to be on campus per SEAS re-occupancy plans (modified for Allston occupancy), vendors assisting with moves or lab startups, and construction crews continuing to work in fit-out areas. The crews and vendors will use dedicated stairs and restrooms closed to SEAS occupants.
 
The SEAS Facilities Manager and Facilities Operations team members approved to be on campus will occupy offices at 114 Western Ave.
 
All other SEAS faculty, staff, students, and postdocs who are currently working remotely and are assigned space in the SEC or at 114 Western Ave will wait for further guidance about campus re-occupancy plans from the University and SEAS.

Tours of the SEC or SEAS spaces at 114 Western Ave are unavailable until further notice.

When will I know my new office or lab assignment?

Faculty office and staff office assignments are complete. Office and desk assignments for researchers within experimental labs are in process. Office and desk assignments for non-experimental and experimental labs will be addressed and communicated in September 2020.
 
If you haven’t already confirmed your group list and headcount, please provide this to Pamela Choi Redfern. If you are a SEAS staff member and haven’t already received your office assignment, please consult with your manager.

When can I pack my office?

Faculty and staff are approved to begin packing early (research groups are assumed to pack closer to their move dates in order to minimize disruption to research), and dates are provided on a first come first serve basis. Please see instructions for requesting access to campus and related procedural information on the internal Allston page (HarvardKey required).
 
As move dates approach later this fall, groups may be requested to confirm specific packing dates to maintain low building densities.

When can I unpack my office?

Access for unpacking offices will need to be requested and approved by SEAS Campus Reentry Committee.

If I am approved to work on campus and my group will be relocated to Allston, what should I expect when I arrive?

As described above, there will be limited occupancy at 114 Western Ave. The SEC will begin with a soft opening in November. With instruction online, only SEAS research groups will occupy the SEC this fall and at their approved reduced density capacities. Use of common areas will continue to be limited as it is in Cambridge. Guidance for the SEAS community around COVID-19 is the same for Allston as it is for Cambridge: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/coronavirus.

Will there be food available in Allston?

Startup of the HUDS Dining facility in the SEC will depend on FAS/SEAS decisions for teaching in the spring of 2021. The self-serve micromarket on floor 3 of the SEC is expected to open in November.

Will the Harvard Shuttle be running?

Yes, Harvard University Transportation Services is planning to operate a reduced schedule this fall that will combine fixed routes for shuttles along with on-demand van service. A summary of the fall schedule can be found on the Transportation & Parking website: https://www.transportation.harvard.edu/fall-2020-service  (please note this is subject to change)

Will I be able to park in Allston?

General guidance on parking:

  • If you have a valid Cambridge parking permit, that permit will allow you to park on both campuses through June 30, 2021.
  • If you currently have garage parking in Cambridge and would like to switch to surface parking in Allston, please email parking@harvard.edu to make arrangements.
  • If you are currently a transit user and would like to switch to parking, please follow the instructions on the Parking announcement page: https://www.transportation.harvard.edu/parking
  • If you extended your annual parking permit, it will be valid at least through the end of the year (Dec. 31, 20). Emails for FY21 permit renewals will be sent in mid-September. Payroll deductions for extended permit holds ended in June. They will restart in 2021 and will be prorated.
  • New permits will only be good through June 30, 2021. There will be a renewal period in spring 2021 for FY22 permits.
  • There is flexibility for three-day permit holders through FY21. You will be allowed to use your permit to park any three days in a given week without contacting the Parking Office to switch days. Parking will monitor the lots and garages to make sure that permits are not being used for more than three days/week.
  • Please see the website for updated information as it becomes available: https://www.transportation.harvard.edu/
Is bike parking available?

The interior bike parking area at the SEC will be temporarily used as a contractor entry/exit location and will not be available for bike parking. Exterior bike parking is available at the mobility hub and at bike racks around the buildings.

Is there information about the buildings online?

Information for building operations and amenities (e.g. building hours, how to request keys, where to find mail, etc.) in the SEC and 114 Western Ave are described in the Allston Building User Guide. The Building User Guide will be available on the SEAS website on Sept. 8, 2020. To access, click the link “Move Information” on the FAQ’s page: https://www.seas.harvard.edu/about-us/our-campus/allston/allston-updates-faqs.

Is there active cell phone coverage in the building?

Verizon Wireless and AT&T will have coverage in the building after September. T-Mobile/Sprint will not be installing a repeater in the building. Service for T-Mobile/Sprint may be unreliable.

When will the Allston Core Labs start up?

They will start up on a rolling basis from November, 2020 through February, 2021. We aspire to get the 3D Printing and Material Characterization Cores up-and-running first, followed by the other SEC-based cores.

Who should I call if I need assistance before or after move-in?

Contacts related to the move:

Which services will fall under the new SEAS Service Center?

After move-in, the Service Center will address questions about AV Services, Room Reservations (non-academic), Phones, Printers & Copiers (Crimson Print), Mail & Package Delivery, Bike Storage, Kitchenette Management, and Lost & Found. For more information, you can reach Dina Adams and other members of the Service Center team at servicecenter@seas.harvard.edu.

When will the Library be open?

Until FAS, Harvard Library and SEAS re-occupancy plans (COVID-19) are approved, Harvard Libraries will be temporarily closed. When normal operations resume, Robyn Rosenberg, who will be the resident librarian in the SEC, will be available on site at least three days a week. Robyn is currently working remotely and can be reached at robyn_rosenberg@harvard.edu.

What immediate changes will we see in Cambridge?

SEAS will vacate 60 Oxford Street entirely by Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 and 20 University Road by Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Other buildings will remain occupied by SEAS through the 2020-21 academic year.

Do we know what the long-term plans for Cambridge are?

Longer-term planning efforts, including faculty aspirations for the Areas, will be coordinated with FAS. In the intermediate five to 15-year term after groups vacate to Allston, Gordon McKay Labs, ESL, and Northwest B1 will continue to be used for SEAS experimental research labs. The future use of MD has not been determined at this time. A planning study by Ann Beha Architects (ABA) is looking at the current and future program and renewal needs of Pierce, Cruft, and the Bridge. The study, which is nearing the end of the visioning phase and is shifting to program and concept design in September and October, is expected to be complete in January 2021.

General FAQ

Where is the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) located?

The Science and Engineering Complex is located at 150 Western Avenue in Allston, across from Harvard Business School and the i-lab, Life Lab, and Launch Lab. 114 Western Avenue has been newly renovated and includes both classrooms and administrative offices.

Can I see the construction site?

Yes, a camera feed of the Science and Engineering Complex construction site is available here.

Who will occupy the Science and Engineering Complex?

The Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) will be the primary occupant of the Science and Engineering Complex. We expect that researchers from other Harvard science departments will use core research areas and facilities there. Certain segments of SEAS will remain in Cambridge. 

All SEAS central administrative offices, including the Dean, will be located in Allston (either in the SEC or in the adjacent satellite office/classroom building at 114 Western Ave.). There will be shared hoteling space in Cambridge for administrative office hours, and there will be touch-down space in Allston for those not located in Allston who wish to spend part of a day there for meetings, etc. Faculty administrators/coordinators and Research Portfolio Managers will be located on the campus of the faculty they support. 

How does the Science and Engineering Complex fit into the Allston community?

Harvard is committed to fostering a community in Allston which attracts business ventures and residents alike. The Science and Engineering Complex will help to anchor the proposed Allston Greenway, a 10-acre park featuring multi-use paths that will stretch from North Harvard Street towards the Charles River. The Science and Engineering Complex is the next addition to the Allston-Harvard community which includes Harvard Business School, the i-lab network, the Ed Portal, athletics facilities and retail tenants like Swissbakers, and will one day help to attract commercial partners to the adjacent Enterprise Research Campus property as well.

What about parking and transportation between the two campuses?

The SEC project will include a range of amenities to support safe, efficient and accessible multimodal access between Harvard’s Cambridge and Allston campuses. The SEC project includes new streets, shuttle bus stops, streetscape improvements, infrastructure upgrades, and transportation improvements including parking, transit accommodations, bike facilities and pedestrian amenities.

Cambridge parking will remain as is. A large surface lot is being constructed adjacent to the SEC that will accommodate those who wish to park in Allston. There is a total of 275 car parking spaces between the 114 Western Avenue and 2 Hague Street lots. There will also be 570 bicycle parking places in Allston—414 of them covered and secured parking spaces and 60 inside a bike garage in the SEC. Metro-Boston's public bike share system, Blue Bikes, will have hubs on both campuses. The campus shuttle system will be enhanced to accommodate more passengers on a more frequent basis.

In addition, there will be a mobility hub on Academic Way that will support multi-modal connections between Harvard shuttle stops, MBTA bus stops, bicycle and pedestrian routes, Zipcar, electric car charging, and BlueBikes locations. The Commonwealth is also exploring a commuter rail and bus station to the south of the SEC site, to be known as West Station, which will address long-term growth.

Who designed the SEC?

Designed by Behnisch Architekten, the SEC will be an exciting and pleasant place to be. In addition to the world-class research and teaching it will facilitate, it will be LEED Gold, and possibly Platinum (the highest level of sustainability under the worldwide green building certification program). This will be one of the most environmentally- and human-friendly science buildings in the world. There will be plenty of natural light and glass, and the artificial lighting in the building will be circadian in design.

The atrium will span all eight levels and look out onto a terrace of lawn, plantings, and an interim nursery that is to supply trees for future development in the area. There will be a café in the atrium and plenty of other dining options within a short walk. Space has been designed to encourage collaboration, with multiple lounges, meeting rooms, roof decks, community kitchens, and clear sight lines between floors. Shared core research spaces have also been designed to provide space and equipment for 3D printing, molecular and cellular biology, imaging, materials and device characterization.

Would you tell me a little about the design of 114 Western Ave?

Designed by Baker Design Group, and also LEED Commercial Interiors Certified, the interior renovation of this existing structure includes new offices for SEAS Administration, classrooms that meet design criteria equivalent with those in the SEC, and finishes and furniture that meet Harvard’s healthy materials requirements. The renovations have been completed and a ground-floor childcare facility began operating there in 2019.

What else is happening in Allston?

In addition to the iLab, LifeLab, LaunchLab, ArtLab, the opening of Klarman Hall at HBS, and Harvard Athletics, plans for an Enterprise Research Campus are in process.

What is the Enterprise Research Campus?

The area known as the Enterprise Research Campus is a Harvard University-owned parcel in Allston Landing North which was previously occupied by CSXT, a transportation company. The University envisions this property as a becoming a non-institutional center for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship within the City of Boston and the region. By developing the Enterprise Research Campus, the University will be transforming a previously industrial rail yard into a green, pedestrian-friendly area in Allston for business and research. Given its proximity to Harvard Business School and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), as well as peer universities, healthcare leaders, and Boston’s science and technology sector, the new development area has the potential to become a hub for anchor companies, incubators, startups, and social enterprises.