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NESAD’s move off Arlington in works, renovations at Sawyer continue

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After years of waiting, the New England School of Art & Design (NESAD), a segment of Suffolk University’s College of Arts and Sciences, will finally move from 75 Arlington St. to the central campus.

Founded in 1923, NESAD was founded as its own entity without any connection to Suffolk. In 1975, NESAD was relocated and then an academic collaboration between the university and NESAD took place just 13 years later. The partnership had allowed NESAD students to enroll in Suffolk’s general education courses in order to complete a Bachelor and Master Degree of Fine Arts, according to former articles in The Suffolk Journal.

However, over the years, students at NESAD have expressed their disconnect with the rest of the university since they are located in an almost completely different neighborhood as the rest of the university.

Tenth floor of Sawyer’s floor plans sent to The Journal from James Wallace

Renovations had begun on the sixth and tenth floors of the Sawyer building in order to move NESAD out of their 75 Arlington lease that gave them 41,000 gross square feet of studio, office and classroom space to transition the art school to 32,000 gross square feet on the central campus. In addition to these renovations, the school will also be moving into spaces on the “00” and “o” levels of Sawyer that use to house the Suffolk University Police Department, who recently moved to the fourth floor of Ridgeway. The beginning of the move for NESAD is set to begin on May 15, just six days before the 2017 Commencement Ceremony. On May 15, the print studio and fabrication lab will move from 75 Arlington St. to Sawyer while the rest of the materials in NESAD will begin to follow suit the next day, according to a source who will be part of the move.

Assistant Vice President of Campus Services Jim Wallace presented updates of the Sawyer renovations on Thursday at the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting. Wallace explained that the $2 million lease will cease this summer as the

Sixth floor of Sawyer’s floor plans sent to The Journal by James Wallace

and the university will save $8 million by making renovations on the 111-old Sawyer building, originally known as the Boston City Club, in a matter of four years instead of continuing the lease.

Wallace explained that they will be losing some space, but some of the “extra” space that they had on Arlington St. was because they had their own security unit and Information Technology Systems (ITS) office in the building. Some sources who have direct administrative ties to the art school, however, said in an interview with The Journal on late Tuesday night that it would be an “overstatement” to attribute the space loss to these two entities.

NESAD was originally destined for the 20 Somerset building, but plans were scrapped in 2012 when former President James McCarthy broke the news to the Suffolk community that the building would be used for academic classrooms.

Director of Construction Services Andre Vega announced at the SGA meeting that security cameras will be installed on the soon-to-be renovated NESAD floors in Sawyer so that expensive equipment and displayed students’ artwork is watched at all times.

However, Wallace said he recognized that NESAD may have a space issue if they attempt to grow their program like they would like to.

Some members of SGA have praised the move for the art school to become more involved with the rest of campus.

“I think this will bring the university together,” said Class of 2017 Senator John Medlinskas on Thursday who explained that he has spoken to some students at NESAD who have felt disconnected from the College, despite the fact that they are apart of it. “I am proud of hearing this.”

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NESAD’s move off Arlington in works, renovations at Sawyer continue