WIT introduces Sweeney Field project

Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) was expected to announce the development of an “endowment campus” research and office building on Sweeney Field, bordered by Huntington Avenue, Parker Street and Ruggles Street, at a Jan. 8 meeting after the Gazette’s deadline.

WIT would seek a private company to lease the property and construct and use the new building, which would be about 650,000 square feet. WIT would use the income to fund potential new projects. At the end of the long-term lease, both the land and the building would belong to WIT. There is no specific tenant for the site and no timeline for when the project might happen.

That type of deal is called an “endowment campus.” WIT would be the latest local school to create an endowment campus. Emmanuel College and the Winsor School have already done so.

Sweeney Field is a soccer field and outdoor sports facility. Those uses would move to a new sports facility on a Parker Street parking lot in another part of WIT’s long-range plan.

WIT had previously mentioned the possibility of the Sweeney Field project during planning sessions for its institutional master plan (IMP) in 2011.

An IMP is a comprehensive development plan that describes an institution’s existing facilities, long-range planning goals and proposed projects. The institution must update and renew its IMP periodically and must amend it whenever it adds or changes any project significantly. The IMP serves as zoning approval for all its projects.

WIT’s IMP and other planning materials are available at wit.edu/imp.

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