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Warren Towers renovation and construction of Pardee School of Global Studies to be first projects started from new Institutional Master Plan

Boston University’s first projects from the 2023-2033 Institutional Master Plan will be the renovation of Warren Towers and the construction of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, according to a University administrator.  

Warren Towers. Renovations of the dorm are a part of Boston University’s new institutional master plan. JENNIFER GAN/DFP FILE

The Board of Trustees submitted the Master Plan in October to the City, but the plan has yet to be finalized, according to Senior Vice President of Operations Derek Howe.

“We are awaiting further comments from the city, which will help us provide additional responses,” Howe said. “We’re looking for their feedback, as well as anything else we need to hear back from the community.”

BU received scoping documents back from the City in mid-June and is working with the City to finalize the filing, Howe wrote in an email to the Daily Free Press. 

However, the University will still move forward with its first two projects: the renovation of Warren Towers and the construction of the Pardee building.

Other projects included in the Institutional Master Plan are the total rehabilitation of the Mugar Memorial Library, the creation of a 16-story academic building that will combine small pieces of land on both sides of Cummington Mall, a new pedestrian way from Granby Street to Silber Way and the construction of Student Village III, which will be located between the two current Student Village sites.

The renovation of Warren Towers, which is home to about 1,800 undergraduate students, will potentially include “the repair of masonry and replacement of windows, reconfiguration of the bathroom cores and modernizing the HVC,” according to the Institutional Master Plan.  

The goal of the renovation is “to modernize the inside of the building,” which will still include dormitory-style double rooms, Howe said.

As Boston University (BU) continues its ambitious construction projects, the need for dependable resources and equipment becomes increasingly apparent.

Amid renovations and new builds, BU must secure access to high-quality machinery hire for construction projects to ensure smooth progress. Whether it’s refurbishing Warren Towers or erecting the Pardee building, having the correct tools and equipment is crucial for meeting deadlines and upholding quality standards.

From earthmoving machinery for site prep to cranes for heavy lifting, each task demands specific equipment. Partnering with trusted providers of construction machinery rentals enables BU to access a diverse range of equipment while ensuring reliability and strict adherence to safety protocols.

With the appropriate machinery at hand, BU can confidently navigate the intricacies of its construction ventures, facilitating successful campus infrastructure enhancements.

The renovation will be completed in stages, with one tower being renovated per year, although it is unknown how the construction will impact students living in the other towers, he said.

“What we would do is we would take a tower offline for the year, we would do half the tower in the fall, half the tower in the spring,” Howe said. 

The Pardee building will be an 11-story building located behind CAS on what is now a parking lot, according to the Institutional Master Plan. 

“This site offers the opportunity to replace a surface parking lot with a new academic building in the core of the campus and create an expansion of the campus green landscape,” according to the Plan.

Scott Taylor, dean of Pardee, wrote in an email that the new development will have “immense practical importance.”

“The School is dispersed across seven buildings currently, almost entirely in old brownstones,” he wrote. “Being united under one roof will facilitate management and operational efficiency, but more importantly serve as a vital convening space for the members of the Pardee and BU communities who share a commitment to global issues.”

Howe said the building’s construction will be funded by a donor that endowed Pardee and is in line with the university’s goals to expand its global presence.

“He has also pledged to put money towards a new building,” Howe said. “Our global footprint is one of the items that’s in the strategic plan.”

Both the Warren Towers renovation and the construction of the Pardee building will occur at the same time, with the School of Global Studies possibly finishing before the renovation of Warren Towers is complete, according to Howe.

As of right now, there are no current estimates for when these two projects will be started or completed, according to BU spokesperson Colin Riley.

Before a project begins, financing needs to be in place and the City’s approval process must be complete, Riley wrote in an email about the project timelines.

“That said, every project anticipated in the previous IMP was done during the IMP period,” Riley wrote. “That has been the case for each of the previous IMPs, and in some cases, projects were done that were not anticipated so the University has a very good track record and has added $4 billion in new and renovated facilities over the past 30 years or so.”

According to the Plan, the renovation of Mugar Library and the pedestrian way are scheduled to be completed during the earlier portion of the Plan’s timeframe, along with the Warren Towers renovation and the construction of the Pardee building.

Student Village III and the building on Cummington Mall are scheduled for later in the Plan’s timeframe.

A pedestrian bridge is expected to be constructed over I-90 and the commuter rail tracks, from Harry Agganis Way to the Charles River. This will provide “a needed connection for the community to the river,” according to the Plan. 

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