Numerous Building Projects Underway

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Student residence hall renovations, new offices for the Student Services organization and preparations for a planned office building head the list of summer construction projects on campus.

The influx of construction workers and equipment began shortly after the students left campus in May and many of the major projects now underway need to be completed before the students' return in September. According to Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella, there are myriad projects underway and all are on schedule.

On the Upper and Newton campuses, the University is in the midst of the third phase of a four-phase project to completely renovate the freshman residence halls. This summer, the buildings are being fitted with new sprinkler systems, fire alarms and smoke detectors. The bathrooms are being completely renovated, as are individual rooms. In addition, outside utility work is being done to provide sufficient water pressure inside the buildings.

The new wing of Higgins Hall, as seen from Devlin Hall last week. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
Campanella said the Higgins Hall renovation and expansion is proceeding on schedule. The building's new wing is being fitted with stone cladding and should be completed by April 1, 2000. The renovation of the existing building will follow and the entire project is scheduled for completion in July 2001.

The first floor and a portion of the lower level of Lyons Hall are being completely renovated to accommodate the new Student Services organization. In addition to creating a new interior layout, Campanella said, lighting, acoustic and power work also is being done in an effort to create a welcoming space for students.

A large section of rock ledge is being removed from the hillside behind O'Neill Library to make way for a planned office building, which still must receive a permit from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Campanella said that the rock is being crushed on site and the resulting gravel will be used for other campus building projects, including construction of a new stairway linking Lower and Middle campuses. Construction of the building itself is tentatively planned to begin next spring, he said.

The first part of a two-summer project to renovate the Flynn Recreation Complex is underway, as well, Campanella said. It involves major repairs to the roof. Next year, he added, the interior of the RecPlex will be completely renovated. The project is expected to extend the facility's life by 10 years.

Also on Lower Campus, the redesign of the St. Ignatius Gate is proceeding apace, Campanella said, and should be ready by the time students return to campus.

Following a delay of several months caused by a required and protracted archeological dig that turned up little of historical significance, foundation work was scheduled to begin this week on a new office building on Hammond Street. Nearby, the renovation of Hovey House, including restoration of the ornate interior woodwork, was completed recently.

Campanella noted that while these projects are the most visible, there are more than 50 other projects going on simultaneously. These range from relatively small projects like upgrading air conditioning in Bapst Library, to large undertakings such as upgrading the campus computer network.

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