The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology yesterday filed detailed plans for its proposed campus on Harrison Avenue, near Melnea Cass Boulevard, in Roxbury.
In a filing with the BPDA, the institute, which provides degrees in various technical fields, says it will build a three-story, 68,000-square-foot building that will let it continue to "fulfill its mission in an appropriately designed and located facility" - using money from the sale of its current home on Berkeley Street in the South End.
Selling its South End home will also bolster the endowment at the school, which was started with money that Ben Franklin left in his will, and which was later bolstered with additional money from Andrew Carnegie. In its new home, the school hopes to grow its enrollment from 400 to 600.
Most of the student body (57%) are first generation college students, some are the first in their families to graduate from high school, and almost half are from immigrant families where English is not the primary home language. BFIT is committed to the academic success and career readiness of its students in a variety of technical fields, with a hands-on, experiential learning approach. Student success for BFIT’s student body requires a ‘high-touch’ approach: small class sizes; a substantial number of staff providing tutoring, counseling and other forms of student support; career preparation; and the opportunity to be known by everyone from the college President to the security guard.
Related Beal is buying the Berkeley Street building and has filed plans for a senior-care facility and office space there.
The new building would be smaller than the Berkeley Street one, built in the early 1900s, but the school says it would be far better laid out for the technical programs it offers. It will be topped with a "learning lab" on the roof for HVAC, renewable energy and electrical classes.
Automotive Labs, which include Hybrid and Driverless Car Labs, will be located on the first floor to accommodate cars and large rolling toolboxes. Vehicular access to the Automotive Labs and for service delivery will be from Eustis Street.
Once completed, on the site of the former Harrison Supply Co. site at 1011 Harrison Ave., the new building could be part of a series of new buildings forming a gateway to Nubian Square from Melnea Cass Boulevard.
Benjamin Franklin Institute project-notification form (43.2M PDF).