Stokes Hall Update
Q&A with Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Rombalski
Q. What will be the major effect of the construction project on BC students?
A. I perceive that there will be at least three effects on students from the construction of Stokes. First, students on Upper Campus and College Road cannot walk around the northwest side of McElroy. They will either need to go through McElroy or down Beacon Street to get to Middle or Lower Campus. Second, we will not have the Campus Green/Dustbowl available for programs or leisure so we will need to utilize different parts of campus for the next two years. And, third, the noise from the construction, at least early on, will be noticeable in and around the construction area.
Q. What about “Dustbowl” activities – such as “Student Activities Day” and various social events?
A. We are working now to find a suitable location for all planned student events previously scheduled on the "Dustbowl." Possible substitute locations include the lawn of Bapst Library, O'Neill Plaza, and the plaza in front of Conte Forum.
Q. Will other parts of the campus be designated as recreation/student activity areas to make up for the loss of the Campus Green?
A. We will not designate other parts of campus as "recreational" areas until we have a better sense of what spaces are more appealing to students. But, once we identify spaces, we will be willing to pursue reserving space for more leisurely or recreation activities.
Q. Will the large “footprint” of the construction site disrupt students who travel to and from Upper Campus to other parts of the University?
A. The rerouting of pedestrian traffic will mostly impact residents of Upper Campus, employees of Middle Campus, and other students visiting those areas for class or programs.
Q. Will McElroy Commons have extended hours during the construction period?
A. McElroy will definitely have extended hours during construction. We will look to keep both main entrances open to McElroy from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Q. What about “special” or one-time activities – such as ESPN’s “College Game Day”?
A. If Boston College has special events, we will certainly look for appropriate replacement sites.
Q. Will students (UGBC) be involved in the planning of alternative sites for displaced activities?
A. UGBC is currently involved in helping us identify appropriate replacement sites for activities. They are also assisting in the communication and resolution of issues that arise throughout the construction.
Q. Will construction (especially noise, drilling, truck traffic, etc.) affect Upper Campus residence halls?
A. It is difficult to say if the noise will disrupt the Upper Campus residence halls. The construction will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. -3:30 p.m., so we will not have any disruption during evening or weekend hours.
Q. How do you plan to spread the word about the changes that will be brought about by the Stokes construction project?
A. We will communicate through email, the VPSA website, and community meetings about the construction and related issues. We will also be working in concert with the Office of News and Public Affairs, which is working to communicate news and information on the Stokes construction project through a variety of channels, including a website, a special edition of the University newspaper Chronicle, frequent articles in the Heights, banners along the construction fence site and postings on BCInfo.
Q. What do you see as the benefits for students when Stokes Commons is completed?
A. Obviously, the reason why the community is willing to endure some of the inconvenience for the next two years is that the end product – a beautiful, new campus building – will improve the overall quality of the student experience at Boston College.