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BMC Master Plan amended to allow changes to Cancer Center, Dowling Building

The Moakley Cancer Center (above) and The Dowling Building (below) will both be affected by proposed amendments to the Boston Medical Center Institutional Master Plan. PHOTOS BY LAURA VERKYK/DAILY FREE PRESS CONTRIBUTOR

The Moakley Cancer Center (above) and The Dowling Building (below) will both be affected by proposed amendments to the Boston Medical Center Institutional Master Plan. PHOTOS BY LAURA VERKYK/DAILY FREE PRESS CONTRIBUTOR

Boston Medical Center and Boston Redevelopment Authority officials met with community members Wednesday to discuss proposed changes to BMC’s Institutional Master Plan for future development projects.

The Institutional Master Plan Amendment, submitted to the BRA by BMC and the Trustees of Boston University, proposes expansion to the Moakley Cancer Center and the construction of a new inpatient building, energy facility and patient transport bridge, according to the official amendment.

“They [the designers of the amendment] are thinking very strategically about the campus, how to really improve the streetscape and how to make sure that what they need right now is being taken care of,” said BRA Senior Project Manager Sonal Gandhi. “… They’re planning for their future needs, which is exactly what the IMP process is made for.”

The 27,800 square foot expansion to the Moakley Cancer Center at 830 Harrison Ave. would house departments displaced by the new inpatient building and would provide for increased outpatient care, the amendment stated.

The new impatient building, proposed to be built at the current site of the Dowling Building at 771 Albany St., would consolidate multiple BMC departments, including the emergency department and trauma center, main radiology department and surgical department and interventional procedures, the amendment stated.

The 48,000 square foot proposed heating and power Energy Facility would be located east of the existing power plant located at 750 Albany St.

PHOTO BY LAURA VERKYK/DAILY FREE PRESS CONTRIBUTOR

PHOTO BY LAURA VERKYK/DAILY FREE PRESS CONTRIBUTOR

The proposed new patient transport bridge would replace the yellow transportation tube spanning Albany Street, and will enable BMC authorities to transport patients more directly to the emergency department.

The BRA and other Boston development organizations contribute to the amendments, Gandhi said.

“We do definitely review what is proposed, and a lot of what you see proposed is a result of the comments we received from BRA design staff, planning staff and developing staff from city agencies,” she said. “So, a lot of what you see and what you heard today is a result of the comments received from various professionals across the city.”

The BRA will hold an additional public hearing before the amendments are voted on, Gandhi said. Although the date of the vote has not been decided as yet, the comment period for the amendments continues until Nov. 5.

The hearings give community a chance to provide their input on proposed changes to the BMC, Gandhi said.

“The good news is that they [BMC] are letting the neighborhood and the communities know exactly what they’re thinking for the next 10 years,” she said. “So there are no surprises in the next 10 years.”

Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association representative Adrienne Kimball said although she is concerned about disruptions that may be a result of proposed construction projects, the amendments seem to make improvements to Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street.

“Overall, especially with the landscaping and the way the bridge has been designed, they’ve really put a lot of thought and effort into making it a much more pedestrian- friendly project,” she said.

BMC Project Director Jane Barry said the amendments take into account the impact construction will have on communities.

“I think the amendments are necessary,” she said. “They’re important for the hospital, but I think BMC has done a really careful job planning for its own facility consolidation and its campus planning. At the same time, it [the amendment] is very cognizant of what is important to the neighborhood and to the city.”

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