Campus, News

Several construction projects completed, underway after pandemic disruptions

BU construction
The Boston University Computing and Data Science Building. Boston University is spending an estimated $71.1 million on 11 construction projects. BAYLE VINES/DFP STAFF

Boston University spent an estimated $71.1 million on construction projects this summer and school year with $62.2 million coming from the undesignated reserves for capital project funding, which is being used for the first time since the fiscal year 2019, according to a faculty letter from President Robert Brown.

There are 11 total construction projects, including the construction of the Computing and Data Science Building, updates to dorm buildings Kilachand Hall and renovations in Tsai Performance Center and at Nickerson Field.

“Returning to the normal cadence for funding capital projects is especially important because we need to continually improve the nearly 15 million square feet of space that make up the 343 buildings on our campuses,” Brown wrote in the letter.

In addition to prioritizing the enhancement of existing infrastructure, Boston University remains committed to facilitating efficient construction processes.

To achieve this, the university can strategically invest in resources such as digger hire services. By securing competitive pricing for equipment hire, BU can ensure that construction projects can proceed smoothly while effectively managing costs.

This proactive approach underscores the institution’s dedication to optimizing its physical environment, ultimately enriching the educational experience for students and faculty alike.

By leveraging cost-effective solutions, the university maximizes the impact of its capital investments, allowing for the timely completion of construction projects without compromising quality.

Walt Meissner, associate vice president for operations who works closely on the Data Science Building, wrote in an email that the building will be completely fossil-fuel free which is a  “game-changing” project for the city.

The sustainability of the building establishes a new standard of performance, not only for the University but for the City of Boston,” wrote Meissner in an email. “The building’s sustainability features are essential to the University achieving its aggressive climate action plan goals.”

Students hold mixed opinions about the projects, believing that BU could allocate its money elsewhere.

Afolabi Williams, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said while he appreciates the upgrades, he believes the money could be put to better use.

“It feels a bit extravagant, to be honest,” Williams said.“I feel like there are a few better things that the money could be used to do.”

Helen Roth, a sophomore in CAS who lived in East Campus last year, said she did not enjoy the early-morning noise from the construction.

“But I feel like everything is developing, and I feel like things are almost done,” Roth said.

Amanda Siow, a sophomore in the College of Communications, lived in Kilachand Hall at the beginning of its renovation and now lives in Danielsen Hall where a facade was recently erected right in front of her window. This facade is not included in the 11 projects mentioned.

“I do think the construction is necessary because Danielsen is falling apart,” Siow said. “I’m willing to bear with it, I just don’t want it to take too long.”

Roth said she is excited about all the new projects, especially the Data Science Building.

“It’s beautiful and huge, so I hope that I can use it,” Roth said. “I hope that the construction is well worth it in the end.”


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