Digging Deep to Soar

Watch Video

The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Albert Sherman Center came during Convocation last fall, but shovels hit the ground for real this April as construction of the nine-story, 480,000-square-foot building began in earnest.

In early April the area was fenced off and heavy equipment rolled onto the site. The northern stretch of First Road was taken over, and the Basic and West parking lots were eliminated to make way for construction. A new satellite parking lot at Spag’s/Building 19 in Shrewsbury opened to make up for the lost spaces.

The first phase of construction, which will extend into the fall, involves excavation and grading for the foundation, and installation of the various utility lines needed to support the building. Blasting began in June to remove nearly 20,000 cubic yards of rock from the site. The blasting contractor, Maine Drilling & Blasting, has extensive experience working in close proximity to clinical, research and technology-intensive areas, including recent blasting projects adjacent to Mass General Hospital, Milford Hospital, EMC and Pfizer that took place without incident.

After the excavation and utility installation phases, steel will begin to rise from the foundation in late fall. The $400 million building is scheduled to open in 2012 and will house the Advanced Therapeutics Cluster (ATC), where more than 100 investigators and their labs will work to develop innovative therapies for a range of human diseases.