Commonwealth Avenue is not unfamiliar to the sounds of construction throughout the school year and this year is no different with Boston University further renovating buildings from Bay State Road to West Campus.
The College of Fine Arts is the latest BU building to receive a top-to-bottom reconstruction. The building’s walls facing Comm. Ave. will be replaced with large windows, allowing those who pass by to see into the building.
Assistant Project Manager Chris Elia wrote in an email that BU plans to finish the interior renovation of CFA on Jan. 3 and the exterior on March 24.
The renovations in CFA have forced the sidewalk alongside the building to narrow for the time being, but the construction will allow the building to become more accessible for all of the students. Michael Donovan, the vice president for Campus Planning and Operations, believes that the CFA’s construction will “return it to its original glory.”
“It is really going to come alive again in a way that we haven’t seen for decades,” Donovan said. “That’s going to activate not only the College of Fine Arts, but it’s going to just kind of activate that area in general which includes 808 Commonwealth Avenue with the Howard Thurman Center.”
The CFA building has concrete filling on its outer walls where the building originally had windows. Donovan said the renovations for CFA will do away with the concrete filling and include instead floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the space more light and a view for the students passing by.
The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground is also undergoing construction with its move to 808 Commonwealth Ave., and the 808 Gallery will now share the space with the HTC.
In addition, in every nonresidential building BU will be updating the single-occupant bathrooms to include all-gender bathrooms on all three campuses.
“We converted all 30 of them on all three campuses,” Donovan said. “They are open to everyone, and from a facilities point of view, that’s been a very gratifying project for us.”
Tiara Burton, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she thinks BU is doing a great job with including all of their students with the all gender bathrooms and appreciates that they are updating the CFA building.
“I did spend a lot of my first semesters in CFA, a lot of the building is old and needs to be remodeled,” Burton said.
Donovan said he believes that including all gender bathrooms makes the campus feel a lot more welcoming and inclusive.
Bicyclists, motorists, and those using e-scooters are now going to have improved safety when traveling with new bike lanes. Sidewalks will also be safer for pedestrians because they will be further removed from the road.
David Yang, a freshman in the Questrom School of Business, thinks that construction can be beneficial in improving BU’s campus.
“I think it would be helpful because it’s renewing stuff,” Yang said.
After the initial drilling began in April, the geothermal wells for the future Data Sciences Center will continue to be installed. Donovan said that construction for the Data Sciences Center is soon to be underway towards the end of this year.