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Allston Updates & FAQs

Info for faculty and staff (Harvard Key required)

COVID-19 FAQs

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

Access to the SEC building is currently 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 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.

Will there be food available in Allston?

Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) established a pilot meal ordering and delivery program for current occupants through the self-serve micromarket on floor 3 of the SEC. This is intended to be an interim service until the building is populated enough to warrant the opening of the cafe. The ordering service is closed for summer 2021 starting Thursday, May 20. Details on ordering can be found on the Allston wiki site.

Startup of the HUDS Dining facility in the SEC cafe will depend on FAS/SEAS decisions for teaching in the fall of 2021.

View local dining options around Allston.

Will the Harvard Shuttle be running?

Yes, Harvard University Transportation Services is planning to operate a reduced schedule this winter that will combine fixed routes for shuttles along with on-demand van service. A summary of the schedule can be found on the Transportation & Parking website: https://www.transportation.harvard.edu/shuttle-van-services/ (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
  • 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?

There are 570 bicycle parking spots near the Science and Engineering Complex. Over 400 of these are secured and/or covered spots.

All campus bike parking locations can be found at map.harvard.edu

All bikes on campus should be registered with HUPD:
https://www.hupd.harvard.edu/bicycle-registration

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.

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.

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.

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.

Who occupies the Science and Engineering Complex?

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

All SEAS central administrative offices, including the Dean, are located in Allston (either in the SEC or in the adjacent satellite office/classroom building at 114 Western Ave.). There is shared hoteling space in Cambridge for administrative office hours, and there is 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 are 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 includes a range of amenities to support safe, efficient and accessible multimodal access between Harvard’s Cambridge and Allston campuses. The SEC area includes new streets, shuttle bus stops, streetscape improvements, infrastructure upgrades, and transportation improvements including parking, transit accommodations, bike facilities and pedestrian amenities.

Cambridge parking remains as is. There is a total of 275 car parking spaces between the 114 Western Avenue and 2 Hague Street lots. There are also 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, have hubs on both campuses. The campus shuttle system will be enhanced as campus reoccupation increases to accommodate more passengers on a more frequent basis.

In addition, there is a mobility hub on Academic Way that supports 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 is an exciting and pleasant place to be. In addition to the world-class research and teaching it facilitates, it is LEED Gold, and possibly Platinum (the highest level of sustainability under the worldwide green building certification program). This is one of the most environmentally- and human-friendly science buildings in the world. There is plenty of natural light and glass, and the artificial lighting in the building is circadian in design.

The atrium spans all eight levels and looks out onto a terrace of lawn, plantings, and an interim nursery that supplies trees for future development in the area. There is 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 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.

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.