The Ribbon Cutting for the Center for Computing & Data Science: (from left) Azer Bestavros, Stan Sclaroff, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, BU President Robert A Brown, Ahmass Fakahany, Jean Morrison, and Kenzie Bok
The Ribbon Cutting for the Center for Computing & Data Science: (from left) Azer Bestavros, Stan Sclaroff, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, BU President Robert A Brown, Ahmass Fakahany, Jean Morrison, and Kenzie Bok

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu joined Robert A Brown, Ahmass Fakahany, and Jean Morrison in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Boston University’s Center for Computing & Data Science. The 19-story building houses the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science departments and is the largest fossil-fuel-free building in Boston. The structure relies on deep wells to harness the thermal capacity of the earth, being heated and cooled using 31 geothermal wells drilled 1,500 feet underground.

“To have one of our very large buildings very plainly saying that not only can we make it work, not only is the technology there, but we are going to prove it and live it and have a place where you can feel it and experience it—that is so powerful,” Wu said, “and we hope to take this example and replicate it” across the city. The building is a ten-year project completed in three years of construction. Located at 665 Commonwealth Avenue, it is 100 percent fossil fuel–free and one of New England’s greenest buildings.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony followed two days of the BU board, trustees, staff, and project leaders meetings. On Wednesday, guests were entertained by the Boston University School of Fine Arts music students at The Presidents Dinner at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts hosted by BU Board Chair Ahmass Fakahany. BU College of the Arts Dean Harvey Young introduced the violin quartet, and dinner followed in one of the most dramatic spaces in the museum, the Koch Gallery. The gallery walls are covered in damask with Old Master’s paintings and Hanoverian silver, Baroque trumpets used in German ceremonies.

Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley
BU Board Member Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley attend the Ribbon Cutting for Boston Univesity Center for Computing & Data Science Building

The Center for Computing & Data Science building dedication and ribbon cutting were followed by a dinner on the 17th floor with magnificent views of the Charles River and the Boston skyline. President Robert A. Brown, Mayor Michelle Wu, Board Chair Ahmass Fakahany, Provost Jean Morrison, and Associate Provost Azer Bestavros cut the ceremonial ribbon along with Boston City Councilor Kenzie Bok and Dean of Arts & Sciences Stan Sclaroff. They were joined for the ceremony and reception by BU trustees, faculty and students, city officials, and representatives of area businesses.

The BU’s Center for Computing & Data Science Building opens for the faculty, staff, and students in January. It has already received many comments on its appearance, nicknamed the “BU stack of books” or the “Jenga Building.” The building will be the last new building for several years at Boston University. The next Boston University building projects will focus on restoration, renovations, and repurposing of existing properties. The Center for Computing & Data Science Building is the last major project for BU President Robert A. Brown. His 17-year legacy includes dramatic growth in sponsored research, a more diverse student body and faculty, a robust endowment, a campus that proudly embraces its relationship with Boston, and a clear path for the future. Brown will end his presidency after the 2022-2023 school year.

Learn more at www.BU.edu