Some changes are coming to the Endicott College campus in Beverly that are expected to add to the appeal of the academic institution.
Additions, including a new academic facility, a building expansion and a parking structure, are expected to be completed over the next couple years.
Endicott College President Dr. Richard Wylie said the new academic building will replace the Wax Academic Center, which is centrally located on the campus.
“The main academic building is old and not safe,” Wylie said. “We looked at repairing it, and that was impossible.”
The original east wing of the Wax Center was built in 1969, the 550-seat auditorium opened in 1970, and the west wing was built in 1979; another addition to the building was made in 1996.
“We will build the new building right beside the current building,” Wylie said. “It will house all the faculty and bring the graduate and professional studies faculty to this part of campus. We’re essentially consolidating faculty.”
The building will also feature seminar rooms, more classroom space and lecture halls, among other amenities.
Once the new building has been completed and occupied, approximately a year from this summer, the Wax Academic Center will be torn down.
A 50,000-square foot addition to the Judge Science Center, which is expected to be completed a year from now, is also in the works. This space will include labs and incubator space that will help accommodate the growing interest in biotechnology, as well as create a designated space for the new engineering program at the college.
As for the parking structure, Wylie said that project will be completed by September of this year.
“We are taking a lot that has limited use and putting two decks on top of it,” he said. “We will not be taking down any trees and there will not be any harm to the environment.”
With the exception of replacing some modular living units with an equal number of townhouses, Wylie said there are no other changes planned for the campus in the near future.
“We have no intention of increasing the size of the student population,” he said. “We plan to stay within our footprint and keep the campus as pristine as possible.”
MassDevelopment issued $34,793,000 in tax-exempt bonds for Endicott College to complete the aforementioned projects, and to refinance previously issued debt. The remainder of the cost associated with the additions to the campus will come from either philanthropy or be paid, over time, from the college’s operating budget.
Originally established as a two-year institution to educate women for greater independence and an enhanced position in the workplace, the college expanded to become a four-year co-educational institution in 1994, and added master’s-level programs in 1996 and doctoral programs in 2012.
“We have become a premier institution … To go from a school ranked in the lowest tiers of colleges, ready to file bankruptcy and sell all the land, to where it is now, that’s a remarkable success story,” Wylie said. “And I could not be more proud.”
Wylie said he is also proud of the fact that Endicott College has become an integral part of the Beverly community throughout the years he’s been at the helm.
“When I came here, there were no trespassing signs all over campus,” he said. “Now, there are no no trespassing signs, and we have opened up the campus to the community.”
In addition to community service efforts and cash donations made to the city, Wylie acknowledged the many public events the college hosts, as well as the addition of the Bourque Arena, which has given the local youth and high school hockey teams a place to call home.
“Yes, we can be a pain in the neck at times,” Wylie admitted. “But I think that is far outweighed by our contributions to the community.”