Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Sad Side Story to the Globe's Article

I was quoted in the Globe today:
"This is a tipping point," said Michael Pahre, who lives on Foster Street near the property and who blogs about BC's expansion plans. " will drive people out of the neighborhood."
Sadly, moments after I muttered those words, the group of us met yet another anecdotal example of that broader exodus out of the community.

We passed by an elder gentleman working on his car on upper Foster Street. Alex Selvig, switching to campaigning mode, spoke to the man for a few minutes; the man revealed that he had recently decided to sell his house. He lives very close to several houses with off-campus undergraduates from Boston College, and you can only imagine what kind of upheaval it took to bring him to this decision.


Andrew said...

Can I ask what your solution was? When you moved into the neighborhood, did you know not talk to the locals about what it was like to live next to a major university?

Did it really not occur to you that expansion was in the mix for the Brighton area, especially since Newton had successfully blocked any expansion on the "dustbowl" side of the campus?

Do you not enjoy the turn that the neighborhood has taken for the better? Do you think that all of the development that's happened in recent years in Brighton Center would really have happened without BC? That area is night and day from 5/6 years ago. Restaurants, bars, takeout, icecream shops, brand new banks and post office.

What is your solution for the student problem? You don't want them living directly next door to you in rented houses, and you don't want BC to build new dorms to help better contain, where does that leave you exactly?

Michael Pahre said...

The solution to BC's undergraduate housing predicament? Rather straight-forward:

(1) Do not raze 790-bed Edmonds Hall. Alternatively, if it is considered too old, then replace it on-site with an equal, or greater, number of beds.

(2) Replace the current, low-density MODS buildings with dense undergraduate housing, not a grassy courtyard. This co-locates undergraduate housing in a "village" with three neighboring dormitories.

Those two items add as many beds as BC's current proposal, but keeps them co-located on the Main Campus. The neighbors are happier.

Additional dorms could be built on the Rec Plex site. BC wants to build a new Recreation Center, which fits quite nicely on the More Hall parcel. Result: even more undergraduate housing built, and also co-located on the Main Campus.