(12-8-98) -- The Board of Trustees approved funding for several campus building projects at its Dec. 4 meeting in Burns Library.
The board approved $4.9 million for the continuation of an on-going effort to renovate residence halls on the Upper and Newton campuses. The work, which takes place in the summer when students are away, involves total renovations of the bathrooms and other facilities in 17 buildings. Some buildings have already been completed as part of the five-year project.
The trustees also appropriated $3.5 million for the start of a renovation of Lyons Hall. The funds will be used to create space for the new Student Services organization on the building's first floor. Student Services, created through a Project Delta initiative, combines the functions of registrar, financial aid and other areas in an effort to simplify the delivery of services to students.
The board also voted approximately $8 million for maintenance of existing buildings, and $12.4 million for capital equipment, a large portion of which is computer technology.
The board also heard reports from its various committees. Buildings and Properties Committee Chairman Thomas Flatley reported that the new classroom wing of the Law School is nearly finished, is on budget, and likely will be occupied during the upcoming semester break. He added that the Higgins Hall renovation is on schedule and that the University is awaiting the issuance of building permits for the proposed Hammond Street office building.
Flatley also informed the board that the state Department of Environmental Protection has sided with the University in its appeal of the Newton Conservation Commission's decision regarding the proposed construction of two soccer fields on the Newton Campus.
The Investment and Endowment Committee reported that the University has weathered the recent financial turmoil on Wall Street well and that the endowment's performance compares favorably to the S&P 500 average.
Development Committee Chairman Patrick Carney noted that the University is experiencing a strong year in terms of pledges and gifts received. He also said there have been gains in membership in President's Circle and Fides -- the two largest giving societies -- of 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over the course of the past year.
Issued raised by the Student Affairs and Academic Affairs committees prompted a broad discussion of racial diversity at Boston College. Trustees praised Admissions Office efforts to attract more AHANA students, particularly African-Americans, to the University, but agreed that AHANA student representation on campus needs to be further increased. Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties David R. Burgess noted that the University was able to attract a significant number of AHANA faculty in the past year and that efforts would continue to hire such faculty, in an extremely competitive marketplace, when opportunities arise.
The board also welcomed two new members of the administration: Kathleen Warner, the new vice president for Information Technology; and Jack Dunn, the incoming director of Public Affairs. Each received a warm greeting from the board.
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