Administrators Confident on Construction Timetable

Administrators Confident on Construction Timetable

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

As the steel skeleton of Boston College's new administration building begins to rise on Lower Campus, other University construction projects are progressing on schedule, with some expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

A campus tour group pauses on the redesigned Higgins Stairs. Nearly completed, the project awaits landscaping work and other minor changes. (Photo by Lee Pelligrini)

"Our internal staff of project managers and the construction contractors have been working to ensure that these projects will be finished prior to the return of students in September," said Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Thomas Devine last week. "With the amount of construction and renovation work we are managing, I'm sure we'll be working right up to the last minute."

Devine said the new Lower Campus administration building is on track for completion by September 2002. The five-story, 155,000 square-foot structure is being built on the hillside east of O'Neill Library.

The building's steel frame will be complete in late August, he said, and decking, walls and window construction will encompass the next part of the project.

The Higgins Hall renovation project is in its final phase, with construction of laboratories in the building's south wing now under way, said Assistant to the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Joseph Comerford. The project is expected to be completed in January 2002.

Comerford said the redesigned 120-step "Higgins Stairs," which features landings and benches and offers an easier climb than did its predecessor, can now be used but will still require some minor changes and landscaping work. Due to the proximity to the administration building construction site, some landscaping work will not be complete until foot, vehicle and machinery traffic through the area slows down.

The first part of a multi-phase project to increase the capacity of Upper Campus residence halls will be finished on Aug. 15, Devine said. The phase includes the construction of a 10,000 square-foot structure that will join Gonzaga Hall to Fitzpatrick Hall and provide needed common space, as well as the conversion of attic space to student rooms in Gonzaga, Fitzpatrick, Williams, Welch and Roncalli halls.

[The Board of Trustees approved a $15.5 million expenditure to continue work on Upper Campus. See related story.]

Student living quarters in Keyes North and South on Newton Campus are being completely renovated this summer as well. Ceilings are being replastered while new lighting and heating systems are installed. Each room will receive new carpeting, closets and shelves.

A plan to centralize University Health Services on Middle Campus and provide Boston College with a renovated and expanded infirmary is on schedule, Devine said. Workers are converting the Health Services outpatient facility in Cushing Hall to a clinic and 24-hour care center that will be outfitted with updated medical technology.

Meanwhile, the former inpatient facility located in Keyes South is now being renovated to provide additional housing for more than 30 freshmen.


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