Archives for April 2016

Lesley University Combines Old with New in Recent Renovation

An Image of the outside of Lesley University

An Image of the outside of Lesley University

How does a 170 Year Old Church become a “Nexxus for the Arts” in Cambridge? With a lot of dedication and patience.  It took 10 years for Lesley College’s School of Art and Design to build a state of the art facility for their students.  On March 31st, IFMA’s Programs Committee set up a tour called, “Lesley College, Something Old, Something New,” which showed exactly why it took so long and why it was worth the effort.  The 70,000 square foot facility, much of it underground, is surprisingly compact yet filled with everything including a photo lab, a historic printing press, green screens, gas and electric kilns, a fully equipped wood shop and internet access throughout.  The students were in class and working on projects while we toured the facility and it was clear they were loving their space.

Members of Lesley University giving a tour of the renovated facility

Members of Lesley University giving a tour of the renovated facility

The panel discussion following the tour detailed the painstaking efforts the team went through to get as much space as possible for the students, preserve (and move!) the historic church (now the school library), and engage the community in their ongoing projects. The stained glass windows from the original church are being restored and placed back into the project on an on-going basis and add just the right touch to the peaceful library.   Dean Richard Zauft also spoke about how important it was to him to bring the community into the school not just through exhibits but workshops and summer programs.  When asked about what they would have done differently, each panelist had a different answer.  “More wall space to display art”, “More storage for art projects”, “Easier building controls” were among the responses.  Even with those wishes yet to be filled, the space has done what it was supposed to do:  upgrade facilities for students, unite a formerly dis-jointed campus and invite the community in.

  • Georgiana Olwell, ECO Logic Ltd. – IFMA Community Projects Committee Member

 

If you don’t already, “Learn to Love Networking”

If you ask most people who are actively involved in professional organizations, like IFMA, why they join, chances are that one of their top reasons is the networking opportunities.   In the Boston Chapter of IFMA we love networking!  Getting to know our fellow industry professionals, their work as well as their interests, is important to our members and our chapter leaders.

Not everyone, however, is like us.  For the quieter, more introverted people, networking can be stressful.  In a recent Harvard Business Review article, a great case was made for “learning to love networking” in attempt to help out those who aren’t as comfortable wading their way through a crowd.  The article can be found here, so we encourage you to read it, learn a few networking tips, and forward it along to that person in your office who you can’t seem to get to join you at your next corporate event!

Cradles to Crayons Brings Together the Community & Facility Professionals

On March 30th this year, NAIOP Massachusetts put on its annual Community Connect Day – Service with Boston’s CRE Industry. This year the event was held at Cradles to Crayons over in Brighton. For those of you that might not know, Cradles to Crayons is charity organization that provides essential items for life for kids up the age of 12. It was founded back in 2002, and has been supplying items for home, school, and play free of charge for those that are homeless or are in low-income situations. It has grown over the years to include 300 Social Service Partners and makes it easy to participate, either via donations or volunteering one’s time at the warehouse organizing the donated items.

- Photo Credit: Annie McEvoy, New England Real Estate Journal

– Photo Credit: Annie McEvoy, New England Real Estate Journal

The Community Connect Day was a collaboration of several industry organizations, including: NAIOP, AAREP NE, BSA, CoreNet Global NE, CREW Boston, SMPS, SWEP, and ULI. This vast spread of partners provided a well-balance group of facility and construction professionals who were able to come together for a volunteer cause outside of their industry. I’m happy to say that next year, IFMA will be on the list of partners and we encourage every member to participate in this event next year!

- Photo Credit: Annie McEvoy, New England Real Estate Journal

– Photo Credit: Annie McEvoy, New England Real Estate Journal

Several of our IFMA Boston Chapter members went together this past month and it was a great turnout. We were able to both network with facility professionals from other organizations while also contributing to a good cause in our local community. The day started out with group activities, where volunteers got to meet everyone while writing motivational cards for the kids being outreached. Volunteers were then split up into groups with an activity leader, thus allowing for a more intimate setting to get to know others during the event. Various activities included: sizing clothes, checking the quality of items, and packing items to be sent out. After all of the groups finished their activities, the volunteers met up as a whole and were recapped the impact of their work by the encouraging staff at Cradles to Crayons. Finally, to put the cherry on top of the day, volunteers then met up together at a nearby Tavern for food, drinks, and networking.

- Photo Credit: Elisif Brandon, Archtectural Photographer

– Photo Credit: Elisif Brandon, Archtectural Photographer

Overall the day was a great success and a definite repeat for those of us that went. I encourage all of you to mark your calendars for Spring-time next year to come out to this very well-run and charitable event. It is a win-win for us as facility professionals, allowing us to give back to our community while growing our network at the same time. Hope to see you there next year!

  • Andrew Verderame, Community Projects Committee: IFMA Boston

Vote for the Awards of Excellence People’s Choice Award

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