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BC's Brighton campus ready to begin renovations this fall

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  September 10, 2010 10:13 AM

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(Matt Rocheleau for boston.com)


The former Bishop Peterson Hall building at 129 Lake St. in Brighton is expected to undergo a year-long renovation beginning in October.

Pending a thumbs-up from the school's trustees, renovation on two buildings at Boston College’s Brighton campus will begin in the coming months. The projects are the first of several as BC begins work on a $1 billion, decade-plus-long construction master plan.

Work at 53-year-old 129 Lake St., the site of the former Bishop Peterson Hall, is scheduled to start in October, while the former Archdiocese of Boston's Chancery office at 2121 Commonwealth Ave. is expected to begin its overhaul in January, said BC spokesman Jack Dunn. Both are projected to take one year to complete.

Trustees will vote on whether to approve the plans for both buildings on September 24.

Once the Lake Street renovations are complete, the college's human resource employees from More Hall will move there. And, upon completion of the 50-year-old Commonwealth Avenue building, alumni relations personnel will move in from dispersed offices both on and off campus.

The 55-year-old More Hall, which is also in Brighton, will then be knocked down to make way for a 470-bed dormitory, the details of which have not yet been determined, Dunn said.

"It’s very much a chess game, and this is the first move that will reconfigure the Boston College campus over the next 10 to 15 years," he said.

The cost of the looming Lake Street and Commonwealth Avenue projects has not been finalized because the winning bid for a contractor has yet to be determined. However, Dunn said, the two projects will be a multi-million dollar effort financed without using tuition dollars and instead through college fund-raising and bonds.

"This is a complete renovation project to turn these aging buildings, into high-quality, energy-efficient facilities," he said, adding that the exteriors of both will be preserved.

The school's master plan was heavily scrutinized by city officials and neighboring residents before it was approved last year. The plan calls for four new academic buildings, a student center, recreation center, fine arts district, a baseball/softball field and new housing to meet 100 percent of the undergraduate population demand, Dunn said.

Currently, around 85 percent of the college's on-campus student housing demand is met, which is the highest of any college in the city, according to Dunn. If BC reaches its 100 percent goal, it will be the first school in Boston to do so.

"Our experience has been that students want to live on campus," he said.

A previous version of this story incorrectly named of one of the campus' buildings. The building that is going to be knocked down to make way for a new dormitory is called More Hall, not Morse Hall.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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The former Archdiocese of Boston Chancery building at 2121 Commonwealth Ave. in Brighton is expected to undergo a year-long renovation beginning in January.

(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com)

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