Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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BRA approves BU’s 10-year master plan

The Boston Redevelopment Authority Board approved the 2012 Boston University Charles River Campus 10-year institutional master plan Thursday, according to a Thursday BRA press release.

The unanimous vote approved hundreds of thousands of square feet of construction and renovation on the Charles River Campus over the next ten years.

“A lot of work went into it [the IMP], working with the BU Community Task Force developing and moving the IMP process along,” said BU spokesman Colin Riley. “We’re very pleased that it was approved.”

The BRA approved a number of planned construction and renovation projects, including construction of an academic building on Commonwealth Avenue, construction of a science and engineering research building near Kenmore Square and renovations to Myles Standish Hall and Myles Standish Annex, according to the release.

Riley said the projects are all in different phases and each requires its own process.

“Our history has been if we include it into the master plan, ultimately during the timeframe that the plan covers we get to those projects and present them to the BU Community Task Force and the BRA,” he said. “We already have projects currently under way that we’re focusing on.”

The IMP calls for construction of a new, 350,000 square foot maximum academic building on the parking lot at 645-665 Comm. Ave.

At 130 Bay State Road, the plan lists work to integrate two brownstones and build an additional 60,000 square foot academic and administrative space.

Fifty thousand square feet of academic space will be added to the College of Communication under the plan.

Construction of a 165,000 square foot science and engineering research building at 30-38 Cummington St. was also approved.

The IMP includes work to modernize Myles Standish Hall and Myles Standish Annex to “remain an attractive housing option for student housing,” the BRA release stated.

The BRA also approved BU’s Commonwealth Avenue Improvement Project, an initiative to increase pedestrian safety and beautify the area, according to the release.

“As part of Boston University’s IMP, the Commonwealth Avenue Improvement Project is crucial to improving pedestrian safety, traffic operations, and vehicle circulation,” the release stated.

The BRA approved renovations to the existing School of Law tower and construction on the new Sumner M. Redstone  Building in October.

Foundation work for the Redstone Building began during winter intercession.

Riley said the projects are part of BU’s efforts to develop and meet the needs of a top-flight university.

“This is continuing along the way with what we’ve been doing in the transformation and meeting the academic and research and teaching and academic support needs of BU,” Riley said. “There has been a tremendous transformation and improvement of the facilities and academic support over the past thirty years, going back to our first IMP.”

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