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City of Cambridge

859 Massachusetts Ave Project

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The City of Cambridge has purchased the building located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue formerly owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Prior to City ownership, the Chamber and a few other small businesses occupied the building. Immediately after the City took ownership of the building the Department of Public Works started maintenance around the building which included addressing the overgrown planting beds, new signage and daily inspections of the property. Presently there are no occupants in the building.

The City has decided to move the family shelter, formerly located at 3 Bigelow Street into this location. The family shelter, which is managed by the YWCA, consists of 10 bedroom units with common kitchens and play areas for children. The YWCA will have staff on site 24/7 when in operation. The tenants are typically single mothers and their children.

This project is being designed to meet the requirements of the City’s Net Zero standards as outlined by the Net Zero Task force “Proposed Actions” adopted by the City Council in 2015. There will be a geothermal well(s) installed on site. The first well will be installed in the next few months. There shall also be photovoltaic (PV) panels primarily installed on the roof of the building. The building mechanical systems will be designed for maximum efficiency, and the building walls and roof will be efficiently insulated.

859 Mass Ave Project 
Geothermal well drilling update & drop-in session information

Several mechanical issues have caused the geothermal well drilling to continue beyond the estimated date of completion.

Unfortunately, and after many attempts, the drill bit used on the well was unable to be recovered from the original hole. Because of this, a new well needs to be drilled in an alternate location.

This work is beginning this week and is expected to last for approximately 2 weeks, barring any additional mechanical issues. We will be using the less-disruptive rotary drilling method on this new well, rather than the hammer drilling method used at the start of the original well.

To provide more details about the issues we have encountered, discuss why geothermal wells are included in this project, and more, we would like to invite you to attend a drop-in session with members of the project team and a representative from the License Commission this Wednesday, November 15th, from 12:00pm-1:30pm in the Sophie Room located on the 2nd floor of Cambridge City Hall.

We understand the noise of this work is an inconvenience to neighbors, and apologize for the unforeseen duration of this work.

Information & Assistance:

Questions regarding this project? Contact Dan Riviello, Community Relations Manager, at 617.349.4825/ driviello@cambridgema.gov or visit the project page at www.CambridgeMA.gov/859MassAve. If you have any special need or disability, please contact us to arrange for special accommodations that may be necessary.


859 Mass Ave Project 
Geothermal well drilling update

Due to another mechanical issue, work on the geothermal well needs to be extended.

While the drilling is complete, additional work needs to take place today and, possibly, into tomorrow, Saturday, November 4th.

We expect this work to be quieter than the drilling, and work hours on Saturday, if necessary, will be 9am-5pm.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to complete this phase of the project.

Information & Assistance:
Questions regarding this project? Contact Dan Riviello, Community Relations Manager, at 617.349.4825/ driviello@cambridgema.gov or visit the project page at www.CambridgeMA.gov/859MassAve. If you have any special need or disability, please contact us to arrange for special accommodations that may be necessary.


859 Mass Ave Project 
Geothermal well drilling update

Due to a mechanical issue, drilling for the geothermal well did not occur yesterday (Tuesday, October 24th) and will be halted for the remainder of this week.

Drilling is expected to resume on Monday, October 30th and Tuesday, October 31st before work is completed on the geothermal well on Wednesday, November 1st.

As previously indicated, work hours will be 7am-5pm.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to complete this phase of the project.

Information & Assistance:
Questions regarding this project? Contact Dan Riviello, Community Relations Manager, at 617.349.4825/ driviello@cambridgema.gov or visit the project page at www.CambridgeMA.gov/859MassAve. If you have any special need or disability, please contact us to arrange for special accommodations that may be necessary.


859 Mass Ave Project 
Schedule update & drilling to resume temporarily

As previously indicated, part of the 859 Mass Ave Project includes the installation of a geothermal well on site. The City’s contractor will be on site to complete this work beginning on Monday, October 16th.

Work hours will be 7am-5pm, Monday – Friday, and is anticipated to last for 1-2 weeks.

This work will be noisy and City staff will be monitoring to ensure it doesn’t exceed allowable limits.

In the coming weeks, interior framing, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing work will take place as well as exterior sheathing, insulation, the installation of a dormer, roofing, and retaining wall and sewer work on Clinton St. Construction in, on, and around the site will continue through project completion, updates will be provided as necessary.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work to complete this phase of the project.

Information & Assistance:

Questions regarding this project? Contact Dan Riviello, Community Relations Manager, at 617.349.4825/ driviello@cambridgema.gov or visit the project page at www.CambridgeMA.gov/859MassAve. If you have any special need or disability, please contact us to arrange for special accommodations that may be necessary.


859 Mass Ave Project Utility Work
Clinton St. closed to thru traffic for 3 weeks beginning 9/4

As part of the 859 Mass Ave Project, the City’s contractor will be performing excavation and utility connection work on Massachusetts Avenue and Clinton Street beginning on Monday, August 28th.

The work will begin on 8/28 on Mass Ave and last for approximately 1 week. General work hours will be 7am-5pm and will require parking restrictions at metered spaces near the site as well as a pedestrian detour route during the work.

The contractor will then begin work on Clinton St on or about Monday, September 4th. This work is anticipated to last for approximately 3 weeks and will require the closure of Clinton St. at Mass Ave. No thru traffic will be allowed onto Clinton St. from either end and the road will function as a 2-way street for abutters only during this period.

Daytime work will occur during general work hours, however, some night work will need to be completed by the Water Department when water connections are made.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work to complete this phase of the project.

Information & Assistance:

Questions regarding this project? Contact Dan Riviello, Community Relations Manager, at 617.349.4825/ driviello@cambridgema.gov or visit the project page at www.CambridgeMA.gov/859MassAve. If you have any special need or disability, please contact us to arrange for special accommodations that may be necessary.


Geothermal Well Installation to Begin Week of May 15
Work hours will be 7am-5pm throughout the week

As part of the 859 Mass Ave Project, the City’s contractor will be on site to install geothermal wells beginning on Monday, May 15, 2017.

To expedite this work, crews will be on site from 7am-5pm, Monday-Friday, from May 15th through May 19th.

This work will be noisy and staff will be monitoring to ensure it doesn’t exceed allowable limits.

Once geothermal well drilling is complete, normal work hours from 7am-3:30pm will resume on site.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work to complete this phase of the project.

Information & Assistance:
Questions regarding this project? Contact Dan Riviello, Community Relations Manager, at 617.349.4825/ driviello@cambridgema.gov or visit the project page at http://www.cambridgema.gov/Departments/citymanagersoffice/859massachusettsaveproject. If you have any special need or disability, please contact us to arrange for special accommodations that may be necessary.


Community Meeting Notice: Public Meeting to Discuss Upcoming Project and Future Programming at 859 Massachusetts Avenue


The City of Cambridge has purchased the building located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue formerly owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Prior to City ownership, the Chamber and a few other small businesses occupied the building. Immediately after the City took ownership of the building the Department of Public Works started maintenance around the building which included addressing the overgrown planting beds, new signage and daily inspections of the property. Presently there are no occupants in the building.

The City has decided to move the family shelter, formerly located at 3 Bigelow Street into this location. The family shelter, which is managed by the YWCA, consists of 10 bedroom units with common kitchens and play areas for children. The YWCA will have staff on site 24/7 when in operation. The tenants are typically single mothers and their children.

HMFH Architects of Cambridge prepared a Feasibility Study that confirms that the family housing programming will fit within the existing building. HMFH is now preparing design documents and coordinating building programming design with the City and the YWCA staff. The building will be completely gutted inside. All exterior siding and architectural details shall be documented so that new windows, doors and siding will be replaced as close as possible to the original design, but using more sustainable and durable products.

The Architects have met with the City of Cambridge Historical Commission to review initial thoughts as to how to replicate the building’s former look and how best to incorporate a new entrance with a new interior stair on the Clinton Street side of the project.

This project is being designed to meet the requirements of the City’s Net Zero standards as outlined by the Net Zero Task force “Proposed Actions” adopted by the City Council in 2015. There will be a geothermal well(s) installed on site. The first well will be installed in the next few months. There shall also be photovoltaic (PV) panels primarily installed on the roof of the building. The building mechanical systems will be designed for maximum efficiency, and the building walls and roof will be efficiently insulated.

The first construction type activity is the public will see is the removal of some of the existing siding to expose present architectural details. In the coming month there will be pre-construction activities to locate and then drill the test geothermal well. The design should be completed and put out to public bid in early 2017, with a construction completion date anticipated for late Fall 2017.

On Wednesday, January 18th at 6:00 pm, the City plans to hold a public meeting in the Ackermann Room on the second floor of Cambridge City Hall to review the project scope and schedule, as well as potential construction impacts with the community.

The design should be completed and put out to public bid in early 2017, with a construction completion date anticipated for late Fall 2017.

The City of Cambridge has purchased the building located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue formerly owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Prior to City ownership, the Chamber and a few other small businesses occupied the building. Immediately after the City took ownership of the building the Department of Public Works started maintenance around the building which included addressing the overgrown planting beds, new signage and daily inspections of the property. Presently there are no occupants in the building.

The City has decided to move the family shelter, formerly located at 3 Bigelow Street into this location. The family shelter, which is managed by the YWCA, consists of 10 bedroom units with common kitchens and play areas for children. The YWCA will have staff on site 24/7 when in operation. The tenants are typically single mothers and their children.

This project is being designed to meet the requirements of the City’s Net Zero standards as outlined by the Net Zero Task force “Proposed Actions” adopted by the City Council in 2015. There will be a geothermal well(s) installed on site. The first well will be installed in the next few months. There shall also be photovoltaic (PV) panels primarily installed on the roof of the building. The building mechanical systems will be designed for maximum efficiency, and the building walls and roof will be efficiently insulated.

Dan Riviello
Community Relations Manager
City of Cambridge Dept. of Public Works
617.349.4825
driviello@cambridgema.gov

Last Updated: 11/21/2017

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