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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Boston College Unveils Plans for Brighton Campus

Boston College unveiled some of its plans for the Brighton Campus at a community meeting held at the Yawkee Center last week, reports the Allston-Brighton TAB.

BC hopes to file an amendment to its Master Plan in the fall to include interior renovation and use of the parcels it acquired.

St. William's Hall, where New Orleans students were housed last year, will house the new School of Theology and Ministry, which took a step closer to fruition this week when The Provincials of the Society of Jesus in the United States, acting as the board of the prestigious Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., unanimously voted to authorize the signing of a formal letter of intent regarding re-affiliation with BC.

Other proposed uses presented last week included:
  • The Tribunal building will house the new Institute of Aging with offices and meeting space.
  • The cardinal's residence will be used for meetings, functions and conference space. Twelve rooms will be maintained for guest housing when the college has visiting dignitaries, faculty visitors or candidates for employment.
  • The old gymnasium, which is in need of repair, will most likely become a "swing space" for college dance, theater and music groups who need rehearsal space.
Recent Residential Acquisitions

Four houses were recently acquired by BC on Wade and Foster Streets, "fueling resident concerns of Boston College branching out into residential neighborhoods." But BC assured that the houses will not be destroyed or used for student housing. BC spokesperson Jack Dunn said that BC "is certainly not looking to encroach on the neighborhood, and if we buy residential property, it will most likely be used for much-needed faculty housing."

The locals are "relieved that the college has capped its enrollment, houses 85 percent of its undergraduates on-campus and is not planning to build dorms in the neighborhood."

A "neighborhood charette" will be hosted by BC on Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. - 12 noon to gather public input and continue the master planning process.

The Master Plan is being developed by Watertown-based Sasaki Associates and a team of subconsultants in conjunction with representatives from the BC community. The project has a home on the web here. Of note is the phase-by-phase "Work to Date" page, as well as some fun aerial photographs of BC.
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Comments on "Boston College Unveils Plans for Brighton Campus"

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/21/2006 03:49:00 PM) : 

I have been fortunate enough to attend the Master Plan meetings with Sasaki Associates, and I must admit I'm very excited. Lower campus will look completely different. It's as much what won't be there as what will be there.

I wish I could post what all is in store for upper/main/lower/brighton campus... but I may post more if anyone is interested.

 

Blogger BC Eagle said ... (2/21/2006 04:07:00 PM) : 

Post as much as you can!

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/21/2006 08:58:00 PM) : 

I'll break it down by campus:

Upper:
More dorms. Shaw house and Medieros will be replaced by much more modern dorms. One or two more dorms behind Kostka. The goal: all frosh will live on upper/college road.

Middle campus:
McElroy will be replaced. Carney will be either replaced or renovated. A new Campus School center will be built across Beacon and Carney may be the new School of Ed. Merkert will be doubled in size for additional rooms. Campion/Cushing may be replaced with a new science building.

 

Blogger BC Eagle said ... (2/21/2006 09:07:00 PM) : 

Thanks for the info.

All frosh on Upper/College Road - so, what will happen to the housing on Newton campus?

I take it the mods are gone (I hope, finally... what a waste of space)?

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/21/2006 09:07:00 PM) : 

Lower Campus:
St Thomas More Rd will be straightened and will go along the cemetary and go into the Brighton campus. The T-stop will be moved underground where More Hall is now. Walsh hall will be torn down (the foundation is cracking). The mods will be replaced with more condenced housing and the saved space will mean additional performance buildings, student center, plex replacement. Also, the Beacon St garage will be rebuilt for the same reason as Walsh Hall. Additional dorms will be built to bring more people on campus. Also, dorms will be clustered by class.

Brighton Campus:
Grad Student Housing. (This is important since many Grad Students can't afford rent off campus). More office space. More parking. Improved sports fields, tentative fieldhouse. And a footbridge connecting the corner of the Brighton property to whatever building is on top of the new T Station.

Newton Campus:
Nothing planned. Will be used as swing space for offices and departments as these new buildings happen.

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/21/2006 09:14:00 PM) : 

I originally did not want to post these details, as I didn't want to jinx it, since these will be valuable additions/changes to campus.

However, I also realized that BC was about to start calling all the alums asking for money for these improvements.

My hope is that alums read this, realize all the beneficial things their donations will be going towards (student life, academics as well as community outreach with better Campus School facilities) and give generously to this plan. Fr Leahy wants this to be 70% done in 10 years (or something optimistic like that). That's going to cost alot of money. I hope this leads to people donating towards improving all these aspects around campus.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/21/2006 09:17:00 PM) : 

what's going to happen on lower? are they getting rid of walsh and edmonds? those things are UGLY.

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/21/2006 09:23:00 PM) : 

Well, Walsh is definately going to be replaced very soon. Edmonds may be replaced, but it's much further down on the line. Agreed though that they are pretty hidious.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/21/2006 09:30:00 PM) : 

awesome! any idea what the new buildings are going to look like? i hope they're more like gasson/devlin/bapst. no more orange buildings!! and no more highrises!!

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/21/2006 09:34:00 PM) : 

Given space constraints, they're going to be at least 5 floors, most likely looking more like the newest building/Vanderslice than anything else. That is unless BC decides to go more Gothic with the new buildings. Much more like the redone Higgins. Time will tell.

 

Anonymous AHL said ... (2/22/2006 10:32:00 AM) : 

Holy crap. That's a alot of changes. I know Edmonds isn't exactly pretty, but I lived there Sophomore year and have a fondness for it. I hope they manage to keep it.

Didn't live in the mods, but it would be nice to maybe keep one or two, for posterity's sake if nothing else. I could take my kids/grandkids on a tour and tell them: see that weird little building? Grandpa had alot of good times in a building like that.

The BC T stop underground? Not sure if I'm a fan of that. I always enjoyed riding the T home from Kenmore and coming above ground and looking forward to seeing the BC campus come into view as we approached the end of the line. Going underground may remove the feeling of "coming home".

I do like the idea of bringing all freshmen to upper campus. I think BC has outgrown it's need to divide the living space of freshmen. This way, the freshmen will own upper and they can all share the same experiences of first year. Plus, stop making some sophomores live on College Road! Though with the new dorm, this may have changed by now.

I'd hate to see Campion replaced. It was my favorite academic building cause it let the most sunlight in. I only had a few classes in there, but it was great. Carney is a different story. It's so old. Ditto for McElroy, though they've been trying to replace that building for decades. Thank you, City of Newton.

BC may meet resistance from Brighton about those changes to the Brighton campus. They have to walk on egg shells whenever they make plans for that land. They have already annouced that they will have the School of Theology there. I like the idea of having some grad students live on campus. Should attract more top-notch people.

All in all, it's an exciting time for BC. I really need to visit the campus so I can witness all the changes that have taken place since I graduated.

 

Anonymous adam said ... (2/22/2006 02:39:00 PM) : 

What's more frightening is all the changes they proposed that were shot down (some by me, some by others), including:

Building a new building on the Bapst Lawn (between Bapst and Gasson). We had nothing nice to say about that, and when on a scale of 1-10 they asked us how sacred that grass was, we unanimously replied 11. The same went for a proposed building on the site of the rose garden (between St Mary's and Gasson). Those spaces will remain grass for the next 30 years.

Buying up the T-stop land, and convenience stores at the corner of Lake and Comm Ave and building condos and a mall there for us to shop at. Yea, we're lazy and want a close place to shop... but once I mentioned how we'd become more like BU with that kind of building happening at the edge of campus, everyone swore off that idea.

Removing all car access from Lower (except on move-in move-out days). While it seems like a quaint idea, it would make life much more difficult (and if all the parking available in the Comm Ave garage was lost...).

Moving the school to Beacon Hill. OK, just kidding, but they had some pretty interesting ideas that weren't 'popular', but show that they're looking at this 30-year plan from many different angles.

 

Anonymous AHL said ... (2/22/2006 04:00:00 PM) : 

While BC's pocketbook is wide open, why don't we simply buy all the intervening land separating Newton campus from Chestnut Hill campus? Then we can install a particle accelerator and a radio telescope there.

Seriously, in order to do BC a service, I suppose the Sasaki folks do need to give every idea a chance, even if 90% of them get shot down. It sounds to me that they are top notch operation, so I respect the way they want to handle things.

Adam, loved the BU comment. Priceless. It seems to me that some animosity between BC and BU has grown since I've left. Any chance I get, I try to tell people that BC and BU are like living on different planets even though they are only a mile or so away from each other.

One other thing is I hope they preserve at least part of the dustbowl. I think that area is almost as sacred as the Bapst lawn. During my senior year, there were rubmlings that they were going to completely do away with it. I suppose I'm okay if part of a new humanities building needs to take up some space there. But I'd like most of that area to remain as is.

Hey, has anyone ever suggested naming one of these buildings after Fr. Monan?

 

Blogger AMDG said ... (2/22/2006 11:23:00 PM) : 

What is to be done with Shea Field?

Any plans for Beer Can hill if BC is able to obtain it?

 

Blogger Adam said ... (2/23/2006 01:18:00 AM) : 

They want to build something... either dorms or something else on Beer Can Hill. Currently there are pumps under there from when Lower was part of the Res. So for some reason, they want to hold onto it. We shall see if they let go of it... and also if they let us put blue lights around the Res so the next time theres a flasher, something can be done about it.

Regarding the Dustbowl, they are looking to build a building, but its footprint would not extend past where the road and parking currently is in the Dustbowl. So no road running through there and no lost green space.

Also, to respond to the T-stop underground. BC wants this so the T-stop is on campus and people don't have to dodge cars to get on and off campus from the T. the underground aspect would only start after South St/Greycliff, so there would still be good approach.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/25/2006 09:31:00 PM) : 

Thanks for all the updates, Adam! There was a Chronicle article about a slideshow of some of the proposed buildings that Leahy showed at the faculty convocation. Have you gotten a chance to check these out?

 

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