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Berklee building means more on-campus housing

In its 66-year history, the Berklee College of Music has neverconstructed a building from the ground up.

In its 66-year history, the Berklee College of Music has never constructed a building from the ground up.

Yesterday, the college took a big step forward and held a groundbreaking ceremony for a brand-new, 16-story, mixed-used tower on Massachusetts Avenue.

The tower, at the corner of Belvidere Street, will include 370 beds for students, a two-story dining hall, a student performance venue with seating for 400 people and new recording space.

The $100 million building is the first of three new buildings Berklee plans to build as part of an expansion of its Fenway campus. The college’s master plan was approved by the city’s redevelopment agency earlier this year.

Berklee President Roger Brown said he was “extremely excited” about the new building and that it was very important for the school.

He said the building would increase the school’s recording space by 300 percent.

Mayor Thomas Menino spoke during the ceremony and stated that the building would help the city’s goal of housing more students on campus than off campus.

The school’s neighbors said they welcome the new building for the same reason.

“The project is exciting because it frees up badly needed neighborhood housing for the community,” said Walter Hunt of the Fenway Civic Association.

Classes are expected to be held in the new building in the fall of 2013.