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March 16, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 13

When work is finished on the 66 Commonwealth Avenue residence hall, the renovated building will feature attractive glass enclosures for study lounges and social areas, as shown in an artist's conception below. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Projects On Schedule

Work proceeding well on 66 Comm. Ave., St. Clementís Hall

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

Renovations to the 66 Commonwealth Ave. residence hall and the north end of St. Clement's Hall on Brighton Campus highlight construction projects underway at Boston College this month.

Completion for both projects is slated for later this year, as about 100 other projects move through the design phase, go out to bid or begin construction, say administrators from the University's Capital Projects division.

"There's plenty going on right now and we're making a lot of progress in all the pre-construction phases getting ready for our summer schedule," said Director of Capital Construction John Romeo.

"The jobs we're currently doing at 66 Commonwealth Ave. and in St. Clements Hall represent two of our bigger investments and will benefit BC greatly when complete."

The project in 66 Commonwealth Ave. involves totally gutting the building interior and reconfiguring the space to accommodate added beds, improve ventilation and meeting accessibility requirements for the handicapped.

All new electrical, fire protection, fire alarm and plumbing systems are being installed, and the building's steam boilers are being replaced by a hot water heating system. The residence hall's two elevators also are being upgraded.

The building will feature store-front style glass enclosures to enclose study lounges, the TV room and work-out rooms.

"It's really going to be a different building on the inside," said Construction Project Manger Stephen Connors.

"The building has been designed to allow the maximum amount of natural light inside and that's a big difference from how it used to be," said Connors, who also served as project manager on the Newton Campus improvement projects three years ago.

"The students have already told us that they love it," said Residential Life Director Henry Humphreys.

Previously, 66 Commonwealth Ave. housed approximately 153 residents in single, double and triple rooms. The renovated building will have the capacity to house 239 residents in four single, 68 doubles and 33 triples. In addition, it will have apartments for a resident director and resident minister.

While the external facade of the building will remain unchanged, some masonry work will be repointed, exterior millwork repaired and new windows and a new roof installed. A landscape project at the front and rear of the building will create seat walls, walkways and lawn areas.

Work on the site is slated for completion in early summer.

The project at St. Clement's Hall, which is located on Foster Street in Brighton and abuts the eastern edge of the Brighton Campus, will be home to a new headquarters for the University's Information Technology department this fall.

Currently the building is undergoing demolition work, with some structural upgrades due to the reconfiguration on all four floors and in the basement. A new elevator is currently being installed on one end of the building.

"It's been a big job because there's some demolition involved," said Construction Project Manger Thomas Runyon. "It's going to be a great home that meets the unique needs of our IT department."

The building previously served as the St. John's Seminary College before it was purchased by Boston College in 2002.

When the renovations are completed, St. Clement's will house a new data center, which will be comprised of computer systems vital to University operations and research. Currently these systems are housed in O'Neill Library and Waul House.

The building will be outfitted with enhanced electrical systems to accommodate the extra power requirements of the data center. Security systems, a fire alarm system and fire protection systems are being installed and the building will have a robust infrastructure to support a critical data network. A state-of-the-art oil-powered generator and back-up power supply system will be installed to power the data center in the event of a black-out.

New plumbing and heating systems also will be installed.

Construction work on St. Clement's Hall is scheduled to be substantially complete by the end of July. Final completion is scheduled for October, when Information Technology is slated to move in to the facility.

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