Building the Future of the WHOI Campus

New construction takes the Institution dow some new roads


The next milestone is in sight for the reshaping of the WHOI Quissett Campus. In August 2003, the Institution applied to the Cape Cod Commission for permits to construct two new laboratory buildings. The Commission is expected to issue a ruling this winter, and if the decision is favorable, construction will likely begin in spring 2004. Research staff should be working in the new facilities by fall 2005.

The application is the latest phase of a campus redevelopment that began in 2001. In response to the evolving nature of modern oceanographic research, WHOI set up a campus-planning group to evaluate needs and priorities in the village of Woods Hole and on the Quissett Campus. Scientists and engineers increasingly collaborate across disciplines and push the limits of vehicle and instrumentation capabilities. Lab and shop space has become cramped, and travel between campuses has become more frequent as new partnerships have formed between staff in the Village and Quissett.

The planning group concluded that simple renovation of existing facilities would be inadequate to fulfill the Institution’s mission over the next quarter century. Space constraints have made it difficult to build new labs in the Village, so the focus turned to the 183-acre Quissett Campus.

In June 2002, WHOI began the first phase of the master plan: construction of a ring road to move vehicle traffic to the periphery of Quissett and to create a pedestrian core in the heart of the campus. The ring road was finished in the spring of 2003. The next phase of campus redevelopment calls for the construction of 68,000 square feet of laboratory space in two new buildings in the center of the Quissett Campus. Additions and upgrades are also being planned for McLean Laboratory (adding 12,170 square feet) and the Central Heating Plant.