Suffolk University will break ground for a new academic building at 20 Somerset Street at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, November 14, 2013.

The building, designed by NBBJ architects, will provide a new academic home for Suffolk students and provide technology-enhanced instructional space for science and general study.

Eight floors of the 10-story building will hold flexible classrooms designed to support active learning. Electronic whiteboards and active learning pods will enable students to work in teams and project collaborative efforts onto screens around the classrooms.

STEM education

Due to the University’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, four floors of classrooms will be dedicated to science-teaching.

“The 20 Somerset academic building will provide Suffolk students with a whole new learning environment designed to connect them more closely with faculty and peers for a collaborative and interactive approach to scholarship,” said Suffolk University President James McCarthy. “The building also will enhance our teaching of the sciences. In a state that leads the world in the life science industries, Suffolk is focused on providing a science curriculum that prepares graduates to step into important jobs in those fields.”

The glass-studded building will provide the Suffolk campus with an attractive focal point, while illuminating study areas and a first-floor cafeteria with natural light.

Adjacent green space

The building will open onto a renovated Roemer Plaza, which will provide green space and outdoor seating areas, serving as the University’s first “quad.”

Mayor Thomas M. Menino will join University officials in offering remarks at the 20 Somerset St. groundbreaking celebration.

Classroom space will be moved from the Temple Street area and consolidated in the Somerset Street building. The project was developed with input from neighbors and city officials.

Site of former MDC headquarters

The new building is being constructed on the site of the former Metropolitan District Commission headquarters, which had become dilapidated after years of disuse and was carefully removed over the course of several months.

Students will enjoy ease of access to internship and service-learning possibilities due to the building’s proximity to Boston’s centers of government, business and health care.

The Suffolk University campus includes 14 buildings located throughout Downtown Boston and Beacon Hill, with the University’s New England School of Art & Design located on Arlington Street near Park Square.