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Emerson College to Increase Student Housing

First to announce plans following Mayor Walsh’s call for colleges to provide more on-campus housing

(December 17, 2014) BOSTON, MA—Emerson College has announced plans to begin construction on two student housing projects that will increase its Boston undergraduate housing capacity by more than 33 percent. Emerson is the first Boston college or university to reveal plans to fulfill Mayor Marty Walsh’s request that Boston colleges and universities increase their on-campus student housing capacity.

Two student housing projects, beginning in April 2015 and scheduled to be completed in a four-year period ending in August 2019, will add 670 beds to Emerson’s current 1,916 Boston undergraduate housing capacity. The additional beds will provide housing for first-year, sophomore, and junior students.

Starting April 2015, Emerson College will begin construction at 1–3 Boylston Place. The 18-story 380-bed student housing project, which will include social spaces, will be completed in summer 2017 and ready for students to move into at the beginning of the academic year 2017–2018.  

In a campus-wide email about the City-approved 1–3 Boylston Place project, Emerson College President Lee Pelton said, “The location of this dormitory will go a long way in making clear that the reconfigured Boylston Place corridor represents a striking and signature entrance to our urban campus. It will strengthen the College’s sense of place in downtown.”

Additionally, the College plans to renovate its largest student residence hall, known as the Little Building, located at 80 Boylston Street. Pending City permitting and approval processes, plans include replacing the deteriorating façade, renovating the dining hall, improving the stairwell egress, and reconfiguring and upgrading common space as well as adding 290 new student beds to the 750 beds currently in the building.

Repairs to the Little Building would begin in May 2017 and conclude in summer 2019, ready for student occupancy beginning in the academic year 2019–2020.

In support of Mayor Walsh’s goal to increase student housing on college and university campuses citywide, Pelton is pleased to have both projects moving forward. “This is a win-win for Emerson and the City of Boston. Increasing the number of undergraduates on campus will powerfully enrich the academic and intellectual life of the College. Additionally, the significant increase in student housing represents a substantive step forward in meeting the Mayor’s expressed desire that Boston colleges and universities construct more on-campus housing for its students. Emerson is pleased and proud to be taking, once again, a leadership role in the positive and forward-thinking development of Boston’s downtown core,” he said.

About Emerson College

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,757 undergraduates and 758 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 80 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles; Washington, DC; the Netherlands; London; China; and the Czech Republic. The College has an active network of 32,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit the website.