By Seth Daniel
One of the foremost colleges in the region for adult learners is uniting its four schools in Cambridge on one brand new campus in Charlestown’s Hood Office Park.
Plans have been in the works for more than a year, but this week, officials said they are nearly done with construction and will start moving in on Aug. 18.
Jacqui Conrad, vice president of marketing, communication and public relation, said the college would begin moving very soon to Hood Park, and expected to have its first opening day on Aug. 23 – with the term beginning on Sept. 11.
“This came up last year, and when we were thinking about renewing a lease at two of our buildings in Cambridge, we realized we had outgrown those two buildings,” she said. “So, we were trying to determine where we could find space. During that process, we thought that we might be able to create a unified campus in one location for all four of our schools. We started looking for locations and investigating sites and that led us to Hood Park. It’s an exciting location for us. It’s access to the T, and it’s in Charlestown where things are thriving…Everything is new here, and we are able to offer great amenities we couldn’t provide to students in Cambridge. We are now all in one place.”
Cambridge College has been operating for 45 years, and for a long time they have had their four schools – Undergraduate studies, the School of Management, Psychology/counseling, and the School of Education – in separate locations in Cambridge.
The new space contains 108,000 sq. ft. of space in the Hood Park with ample free parking for their student body of about 2,000 people.
“The other thing that is noteworthy is this has ample free parking,” she said. “Our students are mostly working adults, and they work 9 to 5, and many have families and juggle all of that with school. The last thing we want to put on their plate is trying to find parking and worrying about being late to classes.”
She also said the college will have a school store and a cafeteria, and that being in one location will promote unity and pride amongst students and the faculty.
President Deborah Jackson said they are excited to form partnerships with new businesses in the area, including nearby health-care facilities.
“As our Hood Park community grows and expands, Cambridge College will form relationships some of Boston’s most innovative companies and healthcare organizations, to create more internship and employment opportunities for students throughout their education and after graduation,” she said.
Conrad said they are also very excited about the location due to the numerous plans in the works for improving Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square. She said they are encouraged by preliminary plans that look to connect the Hood Park to the Charlestown mainland via new intersections and bike paths.
She said students are typically working adults and don’t follow by typical class schedule of a college or community college. She said they offer classes in the evenings, on weekends, weekend intensive sessions and hybrid online courses.