MIT Theater Arts – 345 Vassar St, Cambridge MA

Size: 25,000 sq/ft
Owner: MIT
GC: Shawmut Design & Construction
Electrical Crew: 29 at peak

Scope: MIT renovated a former warehouse to create a new home for their Theater Arts program. With an aggressive schedule, the building was gutted and rebuilt with a new distribution system, A/V system, Fire Alarm system, and advanced lighting controls.  Building W97 now has rehearsal spaces, studios, offices, costume and scene design shops, dressing rooms, and a performance space.  This A/V intense job was coordinated through SprectumIT, J&M Brown’s low-voltage company, as a mean of making the whole project run more smoothly.

The majority of wiring was completed in EMT and integrated into the pipe grid of the two story building. The off-site witness testing lab was organized and built by J&M Brown to show design team and owner the functionality of the new Notifier system.


  • Over 35 individual conduit runs connecting the performance area to A/V control room
  • Two theater dimming controls racks (ETC Controls)
  • SquareD 400A main switchboard with CT cabinet
  • Full CAD coordination
  • Timeframe – 2 months of pre-construction, 4 months of field construction
  • J&M Brown’s low-voltage division, SpectumIT, handled the A/V and Security installations