Harvard To Resume Allston Science Center Development in 2014

After halting construction on its Allston science center more than two years ago, Harvard announced on Wednesday that it will resume development in 2014.

The facility, which will be called the Health and Life Science Center, will house academic projects for stem cell science and engineering and physical sciences.

Douglas A. Melton, a co-director of theHarvard Stem Cell Instituteand co-chair of the Harvard stem cell and regenerative biology department, added that this development "should leadto the kinds of collaborations and exciting advances, and interesting experiments in undergraduate teaching, that otherwise might not take place."

Previous plans for the new science center included stem cell science, but the second componentengineering and physical sciences with application to biological and life sciencesis new.

By allowing stem cell scientists and bioengineers with common goals to work literally side-by-side, in close proximity to the I-Lab and Business School, Harvard will be hastening the day discoveries in our labs can be moved into the clinic, where they will benefit patients, Melton said in a statement.

Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Kevin Casey, who presented the plan at a Harvard-Allston Task Force meeting, told attendees that that the complex would likely be 500,000 to 600,000 square feet in size,providing office space for 500 scientists and an additional support staff.

Harvard halted construction in Allston in 2009 following a credit crunch caused by the 2008 recession. Allston planning restarted in December 2011.

According to Harvard Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp, Harvard hopes to begin readying its Western Avenue site forconstruction towards the end of 2013.

"The Health and Life Science Center will represent the single largest investment in a science facility ever made by Harvard, and the biggest investment in science space envisioned for at least the next decade," Lapp wrote in a public update.

Harvard officials also updated Task Force members on the progress of its other efforts in Allston. University officials said that they will work with Boston-based Samuels & Associates to develop residential and retail spaces in Barrys Corner, few blocks away from the future site of the Health and Life Science Center.

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Harvard To Resume Allston Science Center Development in 2014

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