Jan. 20, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 9

Jeff Pratt (left) and Dave Howard, of Seaver Electric Corp., examine electrical drawings in the room that will become the football "Hall of Fame" within the Yawkey Athletics Center. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Yawkey Center Opening Nears

New facility for football, LRSA offices is on target for March completion

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

The Boston College football Eagles, fresh from their fifth consecutive bowl game victory, will soon have a sparkling new nest.

The $27 million Yawkey Athletic Center, a four-story, 72,000 square foot addition to the north side of Alumni Stadium is nearing completion, and University administrators expect to relocate the football operation, as well as the Office of Learning Resources for Student-Athletes, into the new building sometime in March.

The Yawkey Center has been funded by a $15 million grant from the Yawkey Foundation, established by former Boston Red Sox owners Thomas and Jean Yawkey, and gifts from alumni and friends of BC athletics. "This is the first building to be built on the Boston College campus entirely with private funding," said Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo.

DeFilippo and other administrators from Athletics and Facilities Management received an update on the project earlier this month from Shawmut Design and Construction Corp. of Boston, which is building the center. Shawmut officials described the work being done on the exterior and interior and said the building is on schedule for completion.

In addition to housing offices and conference areas for the football coaching staff and facilities for players, the Yawkey Center will include a feature sure to interest BC gridiron fans: a first-floor football museum and Hall of Fame that will include interactive displays and highlight achievements and milestones of the sport at the University.

Also included in the new building will be state of the art sports medicine facilities and a 180-seat University function room.

The new Learning Resources Center will include staff and tutoring offices, a computer laboratory and study areas. The building will have full wireless computer capability and the latest in audio-visual equipment.

As BC administrators note, the opening of the Yawkey Center will coincide with the Eagles' first season of play in the Atlantic Coast Conference this fall, and the new building provides the team with football facilities comparable to their new ACC opponents.

"With the new Yawkey Center, the Alumni Stadium bubble, the new field turf and our improved practice facilities, Boston College has made a tremendous commitment to keep its football program among the nation's elite," DeFillipo said. "Our football facilities had fallen behind."

The Yawkey Center will also pay dividends to many of the University's 30 other varsity sports, DeFilippo added, as the new facility will free up space in Conte Forum that had formerly been occupied by the football program. "We are going to renovate the area that football presently occupies and give it to our Olympic sports," DeFilippo said, "primarily our women's Olympic sports."

DeFilippo also said the athletic administration offices will be moved to the area now housing the football staff. Athletic development will be relocated to the current administration area and ticket, marketing and other coaches' offices will be upgraded.

The reconfiguration of Conte Forum is currently in the design stages, he said.

Facilities Management Vice President Thomas Devine said the interior of the Yawkey Center is now about 80 percent complete, and he expects a certificate of occupancy will be issued for the project in late February. The structure's exterior is complete, Devine said, with the exception of landscaping and some minor finish work that will be finalized in the spring.

"As soon as we get the certificate of occupancy, it will allow both Learning Resources and the football operation to move in," Devine said. "The Hall of Fame section will not be completed until late April or the first part of May, but that has to do with the fabrication and installation of millwork which was not scheduled to be completed at the same time as the rest of the building.

"This building is well designed and ties right into the existing football facility [Alumni Stadium]," Devine said. "It will give our football operation the ability to focus on all of the necessary components in order to put our best team on the field."

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