In-the-know Northeastern students, faculty, and staff have long been able to avoid the inclement weather when traveling among the oldest portion of the university’s campus, where a network of tunnels link buildings including Snell Library, Ell Hall, and the Curry Student Center.
Now, due to increased popularity of the tunnels, university officials have announced the expansion of the tunnel system that will soon reach all buildings on campus. The project is one of the most ambitious and transformative undertakings in Northeastern’s history.
Reduced foot traffic on campus will also pave the way for future development of a number of new facilities, including eateries, research labs, an IMAX theater, a courtroom for law students’ mock trials, and an expansive table tennis training center. The university also hopes to erect a bronze statue of Admiral Huntington, the beloved llama that was a fixture on campus in Northeastern’s early years.
In addition to freeing up much-needed space on campus pathways and open spaces like Centennial Common, the expanded network will serve as a daily exercise in problem-solving for students aiming to master the sprawling, subterranean maze linking basements, storage areas, and windowless offices.
Plans also call for transitioning all campus tours to within the tunnel system in the coming years. The tunnels will also serve as an experimenting ground of sorts for students interested in testing the speed and might of their advanced capstone robots.
This tunnel expansion project will serve as Phase 1 of a larger plan to connect Northeastern’s campuses. The next steps, in Phase 2, will be to ultimately link main campus with Northeastern’s other campuses in Massachusetts, as well its new graduate campuses in Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle.
While increased traffic in the tunnel system may reduce students’ familiarity with the outdoors, university officials stressed this new environment will actually foster an increased desire among students to pursue experiential-education opportunities out in the real world.
“We want our students to explore the world, and we don’t want them to lose any of that excitement by exploring Northeastern’s beautiful urban campus,” the university said in its announcement. “This way, they get the best of the Northeastern experience while further increasing interest in the outside world, which by the time our students begin the search for a co-op or study abroad opportunity may seem like a nothing more than a hazy, distant memory.”
This article is part of news@Northeastern’s April Fools’ Day coverage.