NEC Construction News

Updates and photographs about NEC’s mitigation work as well as the adjacent construction projects by the YMCA and the Grand Marc at Northeastern University. We hope through these to keep the NEC family and nearby neighbors informed about our progress and to answer any questions or concerns they might have.

January 3 Update

Over the holiday break, big progress was made in the demolition of the YMCA structure facing on St. Botolph St. This will be the site of the new Northeastern University/GrandMarc dormitory. In the photo you can see that the entire back building has been removed, debris cleaned up, and excavation beginning. NEC is the facade on the far right side. Note how you can see all the way through from St. Botolph St. to Huntington Ave.


The YMCA’s Walls Come Tumbling Down

December 14, Update

The Northeastern GrandMarc project has gotten underway and the YMCA gym is in the process of being demolished to make way for the new 17-story dormitory. (See photo below). Once the exterior walls have been taken down, the construction crew will begin “saw cutting and hoe ramming the foundation,” according to NEC’s Director of Facilities and Operations Mike Ryan. This process will add to noise and dust being produced at the demolition site. Fortunately, much of this work will be taking place while NEC is on holiday break.

YMCA demolition 002

The good news is that all of NEC’s monitors are in place and are sending out regular round-the-clock alerts that report on the level of noise, vibration and air quality.  So far, the demolition work has stayed within the threshold limits established by our expert consultants. Interestingly, the monitors set off a noise “alarm” at 2 am  one night recently–triggered by the siren from a fire engine that was passing by. The consultants who analyze every alert were able to determine that the noise was a fire engine and that no action was required. (see monitor suspended from NEC roof in bottom photo.)

On another, related matter, Mike Ryan reports that during the upcoming break, NEC crews will complete the painting and will install new carpeting in the back section of Brown Hall, so studios, practice rooms, and class rooms in that area will all be refreshed when students and faculty return from vacation.

One ongoing reminder: Please do not attempt to disassemble the soundproofing treatment of windows in the back of Brown Hall.  That has been installed to keep down the noise levels from construction so practice and teaching can go on without disruption.NEC monitor

Thanksgiving Hours at NEC


November 15 Update

Thanksgiving Holiday Operating Hours:
November 21, 2012 All Buildings Closed 10:00 pm
November 22, 2012 All Buildings Closed
November 23rd and 24th St. Botolph Building Closed
November 23rd and 24th Jordan Hall Open 8:00 am-10:00 pm
November 25th St. Botolph Building Open 8:00 am-10:00 pm
November 25th Jordan Hall Open 8:00 am-1:00 am
All performance halls in Jordan Hall will be open to accommodate any and all performances.

Controlled Power Outage Nov. 14

November 9 Update

A controlled power outage is planned for Jordan Hall beginning at 11:00pm on Wednesday, November 14th, continuing through 7:00am on Thursday, November 15th.  The purpose of the power outage is to tie in services for the new emergency generator for Jordan Hall.  All areas of the building will be off-limits to staff, faculty and students during this time.

All practice rooms, all studios, and all performance spaces will be closed at 11:00pm on November 14th, and will not be available until 7:00am on November 15th.

Please power off your computer and other office equipment before leaving for the day on November 14th.  This will ensure a smoother start up once electrical service has been reestablished for the building.

Thank you for your cooperation.

NEU, YMCA Construction About to Begin

It’s coming!  That confluence of construction projects we’ve been warning you about is about to begin.  Between now and mid-month, the GrandMarc at Northeastern University dormitory project will get underway. For the past several weeks, the developer of that project has been doing interior demolition of the YMCA building (see photo below) that fronts onto St. Botolph St. That work will ramp up with the building scheduled for controlled implosion followed by foundation excavation and pile driving to support the structure. What’s more, the YMCA’s own construction project is set to begin November 9.

As challenging as these projects may be, NEC is in good shape thanks to the $4 million mitigation work we’ve been engaged in since July.  NEC’s team from Tishman Construction is finishing up the installation of interior and exterior window coverings that will protect against noise and dust.(see photos below) The new fresh air exchange and HVAC systems are in place and will shortly go on line to supply those practice rooms, studios, classrooms, and performance spaces most directly affected by the construction. Most importantly, the monitors that register acoustic, seismic, and air quality levels are in place and will go live on November 5. They will provide continuous readings and any activity that approaches or exceeds pre-established thresholds will be instantly reported to Building Operations and Tishman Construction.

What can you do?

This process is not going to be pretty. However, NEC is doing everything it can to minimize disruption and annoyance. All NEC community members should stay informed by checking the following media:

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact Michael Ryan’s office at






NEC Open Today, October 30

NEC is open today, Tuesday, October 30th, with all regular activities and events resuming a normal schedule.

NEC to Reopen Tomorrow, October 30

Pending any power outage or other unforeseen condition, NEC will reopen for business as usual Tuesday, Oct. 30. Students, faculty, and staff should report at their normal time. It is still not clear (as of 10 pm on Oct. 29) whether the MBTA will be back in operation and anyone who commutes via public transportation should check on the T’s status.  

In the event that NEC loses electric power over night, the administration may need to keep the school closed.  Everyone is urged to check our status via this blog, the NEC Facebook page, Twitter, email, and text message before departing in the morning.

For those without access to electronic media, call 617-585-1100 to hear the recorded message.

Power Outage Safety Tips

Power Outage Safety Tips during Hurricane Sandy

From:  Building Operations


The severe winds and gust the Hurricane Sandy has associated with it have the potential to cause power outages.  Building Operations has the following tips for dealing with a possible power outage.


  • Check flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries on hand.  A radio is an important source of critical weather and emergency information during a storm.
  • If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water.  Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water.  Pouring a pail of water directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.
  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored).  During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unnecessarily.  Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hour and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).
  • If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance or proper storage during an extended outage. 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using a generator.  Always use outdoors, away from windows and doors.  Carbon Monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly accumulate indoors.  Never try to power your house or by plugging the generator directly into household wiring, a practice known as “backfeeding”.  This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer.  It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.
  •  In order to protect against possible voltage irregularities that can occur when power is restored, you should unplug all sensitive electronic equipment, including TVs, computers, DVR, VCR, microwave ovens, cordless telephones, etc.
  • Be extra cautions when you travel or go outside to inspect damage after a storm.  Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris, and could be live.  Never attempt to touch or move downed lines, and keep children and pets away from them.  Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches and fences.  Always assume a downed line is a live line.

NEC Closed Today, Oct. 29

Due to the severe weather, NEC is closed today, Oct. 29. All buildings, except the residence hall and dining hall are closed. All lessons, classes, rehearsals, and performances are cancelled. Building Operations has taken all necessary precautions to insure safety.

As of 2 p.m. today, the MBTA shut down all service as the storm is expected to intensify through the afternoon and evening.

Updates on the situation will be posted here, on NEC’s Facebook page, and on Twitter. In addition, members of the NEC family will be notified by email and/or text message in the event of further emergency. If you need to phone in for information, call: 617-585-1100 to hear a recorded message.

Saturday rigging and Hoisting

October 22 Update

As NEC works to complete installation of HVAC and emergency generator equipment, the Conservatory community should be aware that we will be setting up a crane on Huntington Ave. to hoist equipment and steel dunnage (support materials) to the Jordan Hall roof:

Saturday 10-27-12 hoisting and rigging 7:00 am to noon

During this operation, some parking meters on Huntington Ave. will be taken out of service. Police details will also be on Huntington to assist with traffic flow. The work will not affect Reunion activities.

All safety steps for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be put in place and monitored throughout the operations by Mike Ryan, Director of Operations, the Building Operations staff, and Tishman Construction.


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