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Sept. 10, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 1

Workers removed the stained glass windows of Gargan Hall in Bapst Library for cleaning and reassembling. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

Summer projects completed

Like most recent summers at Boston College, this one was full of paint, plaster and repaving for the University's Facilities Management division, which completed some 100 projects between late May and Labor Day.

While construction projects such as the St. Ignatius Gate Residence Hall and the Yawkey Athletics Center draw the lion's share of attention and curiosity on campus, on the other side of the coin are all the maintenance, renovation and refurbishment projects, plus design and planning work, that Facilities Management takes on each month, much to the praise of administrators across campus.

Boston College's prowess in the bricks and mortar and paint-n-pliers categories runs counter to national trends, note BC administrators. According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the fix-it lists at some schools are lengthening as projects are held from year to year. With tightening budgets and tough spending choices, some institutions have embraced a philosophy of deferred maintenance writes the Chronicle.

"Boston College is unique in that we set aside funds annually in support of building depreciation and then invest those funds in the maintenance, repair and upkeep of our facilities," said Executive Vice President Patrick Keating. "That is why our campus is maintained so well. The system was visionary when it was put in place in the early 1970s, and few universities follow this practice even today."

Vice President for Facilities Management Thomas Devine agrees: "There's no question that staying on top of problems makes the most sense. The longer you put it off, the worse it gets."

A look at some noteworthy projects completed this summer:

-Bapst Library: Stained glass windows of Gargan Hall removed, cleaned and reassembled with new fixtures.

-Alumni Stadium: Replacement of the playing surface for better drainage.

-O'Neill Library: Refurbishment of the main stairwell.

-Higgins Stairs: Landscaping elements installed and planted.

-Completion of the walkway between O'Neill Library and 21 Campanella Way.

-Modular Apartments: Refurbished kitchens in 12 units.

-Flynn Recreation Complex: Upgraded some areas for more student use, more flexible space.

-O'Connell House: Roof replacement, fire safety equipment installation.

-St. Clement's Hall: Planning and design work underway for renovation and reconfiguration. -Stephen Gawlik

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