Thursday, June 07, 2007

Boston Globe: BC expansion called too close for comfort

The Boston Globe reported today on Boston College's expansion plan into the Brighton Campus (former St. John's Seminary land) and the neighbors response to it. One BC proposal is meeting much neighborhood opposition: construction of two or three dormitories containing a total of 600 beds of undergraduate housing in the Brighton Campus.

The concern is that undergraduate dormitories so close to neighborhood houses will drive families away.
[BC Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs Thomas] Keady said the college is trying to assure residents it is a good neighbor and is meeting with them regularly to hear and address their concerns.

"There's a trust factor here," he said. "But what we don't want is people selling their homes."

Neighbors are unconvinced... "It will destroy the neighborhood," [Lake Street resident Alex] Selvig said. "If there are dorms across the street, I don't want to live here."

...

"People said, 'You knew there was a college over there when you moved here,' " said Sandy Furman, who lives on Lane Park. "But we didn't know there was going to be a college over here."

...

"I can time the closing of every saloon in Oak Square from the parade down the street," [said William F. Galvin, secretary of the Commonwealth, who has lived on Lake Street for 25 years]. "This plan would be a disaster for neighbors."

...

Neighbors said they recognize the university's right to develop the property, but insist that academic or administrative buildings are more appropriate for a residential neighborhood.

2 comments:

Andrea said...

People wandering back from Oak Square after the bars closed are not BC students. I spent 4 yrs at the school and could count on one hand the # of students i knew of that ever went to Oak Sq. But if you keep saying they're BC students Secretary Galvin, it'll eventually make it true right?

And again, lets see if I have this right..no students in the neighborhood..but no new dorms on Seminary land...but no new dorms on Shea field...but no new baseball field on the Seminary either? sure, that's a reasonable position. So BC paid $150 million to just leave the property as it is....

Michael Pahre said...

I believe you should re-read the Globe article. It mentions positive uses for the Brighton Campus.

It's not the neighborhood's business if BC overpays on some property. But the neighborhood should not have to pay the price that BC wants to extract as part of justifying their costly real estate transaction.