Middle Campus Testimony Ends; Decision Likely In Spring

Testimony has ended in Boston College's court case against the City of Newton over the proposed Middle Campus Project.

A judge's decision is expected in the spring on whether BC will be allowed to proceed with construction of a new student center and academic building at the corner of Beacon Street and College Road.

Boston College filed suit against Newton and its Board of Aldermen appealing a rejection of a special permit for the Middle Campus Project, and challenging city zoning restrictions on campus development.

The trial portion of the case, argued before a single judge in Massachusetts Land Court, was heard over some 25 days between March 30 and Nov. 12.

Both sides in the case will now file briefs with the court arguing their respective positions, a process that should take about six weeks, according to University General Counsel Joseph Herlihy.

A decision in the case by Judge Karyn Scheier is anticipated in the spring, though the judge is under no time constraints on issuing a ruling, Herlihy said.

Boston College has argued the Middle Campus expansion is necessary to replace an outmoded student center and provide much-needed space for classrooms and faculty offices.

A centerpiece of the project is the proposed new student center to be constructed on the site of the current McElroy Commons. Designed in the Gothic architectural style of Gasson and Bapst Halls, the new facility would feature an expanded Bookstore, dining facilities, offices for student groups, practice rooms for the performing arts and an underground parking garage.

The proposed new academic building, Monan Hall, would answer a growing need for space on campus by providing 233 offices for faculty and staff in the humanities departments, as well as lecture and seminar rooms, and an auditorium.

-Mark Sullivan

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