Boston University recently filed a 10-year, $1-billion "institutional master plan" that calls for a new research building, possibly up to 16 stories, and a new premium student dorm, along with an expansion of solar panels across the campus and a major rehab of the Warren Towers dorms on Commonwealth Avenue.
The plan looks even further out, saying BU has identified a number of locations where the school could grow even further, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, from roughly Buick Street to Beacon Street, over which the school has identified six potential areas where the school could lease air rights from the state, then build decks on which to place buildings.
The University has a strong interest in the future development of air rights over the Turnpike.
The overall plan requires BPDA approval. Plans for specific new buildings would require additional approval by the BPDA and other city agencies.
The largest of the three proposed buildings, at up to 16 stories, would replace the College of Communications building on Commonwealth Avenue and a series of low-slung BU buildings along the turnpike on Cummington Mall between St. Mary's and Beacon Streets, with a larger science and engineering research building.
These parcels, from 30 to 100 Cummington Mall, are too narrow to support modern academic or research buildings, but by combining them with parcels across or the space above Cummington Mall, building floorplates that are more appropriate to these uses can be achieved. The proposed project is on the site of the existing science/engineering research building (30-38 Cummington Mall), an academic building (640 Commonwealth Avenue) and above Cummington Mall.
Another planned building: Student Village Residence III, up to 11 stories with beds for 523 students between 33 Harry Agganis Way and 10 Buick St. Student Village dorm rooms are designed for students with enough disposable income to afford the finer things in life, like air conditioning.
BU has also proposed replacing a parking lot at 250 Bay State Rd. with a new home for the Pardee School of Global Studies that could rise 11 stories.
BU says that it's already begun work on installing 1 MW worth of solar panels on buildings across its 113-acre, 1.5-mile linear campus along Commonwealth Avenue and that it's identified another 1.4 MW worth of electricity that could be generated from additional panels.
Also proposed: A major overhaul, in phases, of the three-tower Warren Towers dorms, including all new bathrooms and a new heating and ventilation system that could require a new 25-foot-tall "penthouse" on the roof to house machinery for the new system. The Mugar Library would also get a major upgrade under the plans.
BU also proposed turning what is now an alley running between Granby Street and Silber Way into a new pedestrian path:
The goal of the pedestrian way is to improve campus connectivity and provide a quiet, landscaped route connecting the Central Campus to the Questrom School of Business. The pedestrian way centers on the service alley running parallel to Commonwealth Avenue and Bay State Road. The way will need to remain accessible for service vehicles, but a substantial width is available by including rear yard areas adjacent to the alley. This portion of the pedestrian way will also provide an alternate route from Granby Street to the new pocket park being developed in mid-block along Commonwealth Avenue.
Complete proposed institutional master plan (4.3M PDF).
Via Daily Free Press.