A new 110,000-square-foot Suffolk University academic building will be developed near Beacon Hill.

The Boston Business Journal reports, that a $49 million facility will have its groundbreaking Thursday, on the outskirts of Beacon Hill, at 20 Somerset St.

The new NBBJ architects of Boston design is a 10-story glass facility, which, when completed, will house classrooms, faculty offices and a 200-seat dining hall. This new building will replace the former home of the once state Metropolitan District Commission.

Paraphrasing a quote from the school, the BBJ reports, eight floors of the building will be devoted to classroom space, featuring electronic whiteboards and learning pods, to foster teamwork and project collaboration.

Suffolk University purchased the building from the state for $8 million in 2006 and had planned to construct a 22-story dorm. However, the BBJ reports, the plan was opposed by Mayor Tom Menino and Beacon Hill neighbors. Instead, Menino encouraged Suffolk University to build classrooms.

Demolition of the MDC building has been completed but “several historical elements will be incorporated into the new facility.” A commemorative redevelopment of Roemer Plaza will be included in the project, documenting the MDC’s history.

Menino will be joined by university officials at the groundbreaking ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.


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