Reclamation work continutes on the site of the former Recreation Complex (Peter Julian)

December, January, and February don’t usually strike one as a time of progress where construction is concerned, but at Boston College, three major campus projects are continuing apace, according to Facilities Management administrators.

 Thanks in part to a fairly nondescript winter thus far, work has advanced significantly in the last couple of months on the Pete Frates Center, the future site of the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, and the former RecPlex site reclamation project, all of which are staying on or close to their respective timetables.

Located on Brighton Campus adjacent to the Harrington Athletics Village, the Pete Frates Center—named for the late BC baseball player and leader in the fight against ALS—will provide a 31,000-square-foot indoor baseball and softball facility featuring locker and team rooms, hitting tunnels, indoor turf field, strength and conditioning space, and a hospitality area. Structural steel was completed in December, said Associate Vice President for Capital Projects Mary Nardone, and the masonry phase is now in progress so as to achieve “weather-tight” by early March. The center is on track for its completion in August.

Last May saw the start of work on the 157,000-square-foot facility that will house the Schiller Institute. Following the demolition of Cushing Hall and site preparation over the summer and into fall, excavation began in October and is expected to be finished later this month, said Nardone. The next phase, which will begin almost immediately after excavation, will be a very noticeable one, she added: A 170-foot-tall tower crane will be brought onto the site to aid in erecting the structural steel frame for the building; the topping-off—placement of the last beam—is slated for July.

The Schiller Institute building is expected to open in the late fall of 2021.

BC’s Lower Campus has experienced dramatic changes in the past year, with the completion and opening of the Margot Connell Recreation Center and adjacent Pine Tree Preserve, and the demolition of the Flynn Recreation Complex. Reclamation work on the former RecPlex site has been ongoing since last fall, said Nardone: A lawn now occupies part of the area, along with parking lots; basketball and tennis courts are to come later. The goal is to complete the work this summer, she said.

Although no plans have been proposed or announced, BC has identified this part of Lower Campus as the potential future site of a new University center.

Summing up the progress on these and other campus projects, Nardone said, “Facilities Management continues to rely on the professionalism and hard work of our staff, and that of the outside firms we have contracted, to meet Boston College’s engineering, planning, and construction goals. We’re also grateful to the University community for its patience and understanding throughout the periods when campus traffic and parking may be affected by construction projects.”

Sean Smith | University Communications