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St. Mary's, 2150 Comm. Ave. Projects Progress

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, visited the St. Mary’s Hall construction site last month and examined blueprints for the project with Associate Vice President for Capital Projects Management Mary Nardone, Senior Construction Manager Thomas Runyon and Vice President for Facilities Management Daniel Bourque. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Sept. 4, 2014

Continued progress on the St. Mary’s Hall renovation, now in its final months, and the start of construction of the 2150 Commonwealth Avenue residence hall highlighted construction activity at Boston College this summer.

Other projects of note, according to Vice President for Facilities Management Daniel Bourque and Associate Vice President for Capital Projects Management Mary Nardone, included work on the soon-to-be-opened Center for Teaching Excellence in O’Neill Library, installation of new playing surfaces in Conte Forum’s Power Gym and the Newton Campus Field Hockey Complex, improvements to the Eagle’s Nest and Addie’s Loft serving areas, and upgrades to Welch and Roncalli residence halls’ student lounges for study and reflection.

Brighton Campus sidewalks, the Gasson Hall belfry, and stairways in McElroy Commons and O’Neill Library Atrium also received attention this summer.

“We continue to be very satisfied with the quality of work we’re seeing,” said Nardone last week, “whether it involves major construction or smaller-scale projects and upgrades.”

Renovations for St. Mary’s, the primary residence for BC’s Jesuit community, remain on schedule for completion in November, Bourque and Nardone said. Inside the building, upper floors are receiving a final paint job and touch-up, and finishes are being installed, while activity on the first floor includes historic restoration of plaster walls and installation of millwork. The masonry has been completed for the new entrance on St. Mary’s southeast corner, which will lead to the new locations for the Woods College of Advancing Studies and the Communication and Computer Science departments.

Outside, installation of granite curbing for roadways and sidewalks has begun, as has landscaping around the building and on the adjacent deck of the Commonwealth Avenue parking garage. This work will continue for the next few months, and may occasionally affect pedestrian or vehicular traffic in the vicinity.

Bourque said the Jesuit residents are expected to return to St. Mary’s in December. The relocation of Woods College from McGuinn Hall to the ground floor, and Communication and Computer Science from Maloney Hall to the upper floors, are slated to occur during the semester break. St. Mary’s will formally reopen in January.

Related to the progress at St. Mary’s, during the summer work continued in Maloney Hall in advance of other relocations. The Student Affairs division recently completed its move from the second to the fourth floor, and the existing space on the second floor, and part of the third, will now be renovated to house the Connell School of Nursing, which will shift from Cushing Hall next summer.   

The 2150 Commonwealth Avenue project began in late May, with the demolition of More Hall and site clearance taking place in June and July. In addition to foundations work, recent site activities have involved some ledge removal and excavation down to grade level in preparation for the start of the utilities phase.

The approximately 240,000 square-foot residence hall, when completed in the summer of 2016, will provide an additional 490 beds in four and six-person apartments for BC undergraduates. In addition, the building – which will vary between five and six stories – will house two staff/faculty-in-residence apartments, seminar and music practice rooms, and the BC Health Services Center, which will relocate from Cushing Hall.

“As always, we will do our best to inform the University community about any potential traffic or parking-related inconveniences that may result from construction work during the academic year,” said Nardone.