University Submits Waterworks Proposal

University Submits Waterworks Proposal

Boston College has submitted a proposal for the acquisition of the Chestnut Hill Waterworks Complex in response to a request for proposals that was issued by the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management.

DCAM issued the request to developers and other parties interested in acquiring the 7.9-acre historic complex for development purposes after its was deemed "surplus property" by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

"Given our institutional commitment to the area, we felt a responsibility to submit a proposal that would preserve the complex in a manner that would be minimally intrusive to our neighborhood," said BC Executive Vice President Patrick Keating.

"We proposed to make the necessary repairs to the existing facilities to ensure their future viability and to provide access to the Leavitt Steam Engine in the High Service Pump Station to groups interested in preserving and maintaining the space for public use," said Keating.

Keating stressed that Boston College proposed to make no immediate renovations to the existing facilities, nor to develop the 1.2 acre "Pipe Yard Site."

"Our long term vision for the site is to eventually create affordable housing for Boston College faculty," said Keating. "We feel that this use is in the best interest of Boston College and the neighborhood of which we are a part."

In its proposal, Boston College pledged to devote approximately $800,000-$1 million to make the necessary improvements to the facility, including securing the exterior of the building, eliminating water leaks in the basement and roofs and installing an alarm system.

The University also pledged to clean up and maintain the site's grounds which have fallen into disrepair. "We pledge to bring the same level of service to maintaining the property that we bring to maintaining our campus," said Keating.

"We realize that our proposal is different from that of the developers, but given our commitment to historic preservation and minimal development of the existing property, and our well established reputation for facility maintenance and grounds keeping, we think that we have the best possible proposal for this historic site," said Keating.

Public hearings on the waterworks will be held in March, and a decision is expected later in the spring.

-Jack Dunn


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