Monday, December 17, 2007

Boston Globe Editorial: BC Has Not Made "Convincing Case" for Brighton Dorms

The Boston Globe published an editorial today in response to Boston College's recently submitted institutional master plan. The editorial primarily deals with the issue of BC's proposed "Brighton Dorms" -- dormitories to house 500 undergraduates on the former St. John's Seminary land BC refers to as their new Brighton Campus:
The site, bounded mostly by Lake and Foster streets, seems well-suited for the proposed museum, fine arts district, playing fields, and new School of Theology and Ministry. But by pushing undergraduate dormitories closer to residential areas, the college is stirring suspicion. The students have a well-earned reputation for hard drinking and loud partying, not ways to endear themselves to neighbors...

But BC does not make a convincing case why the shift can’t occur on its existing campus south of Comm. Ave.

The master plan calls for the construction of at least two new, four- or five-story dorms on that end of the campus. Adding a few more stories to those buildings and maximizing the use of land now occupied by outmoded modular housing units could lessen or even eliminate the need for student housing on the new Brighton part of the campus.
That is exactly what the neighborhood and elected officials have been saying to BC officials all year. The Globe has clearly been listening to the neighborhood, as is obvious from the reporting in their news stories (such as here and here) where they solicit comment from Brighton residents.

Will BC listen to the neighborhood, too? Or will they continue with their, according to the Globe, "stiff-necked approach"?
College officials should be willing to adjust their ambitious vision if they hope to win local support and city approval for their plan.

BC Neighbors Forum Meeting: Tonight at 7:00 pm at Brighton Elks Lodge

As a reminder, there will be a meeting of the BC Neighbors Forum tonight at 7:00 pm in order to solicit neighborhood response to BC's master plan. This is the fourth meeting by the group. Everyone will receive the opportunity to speak, as time permits.

BC Neighbors Forum: Community Meeting
Monday, December 17, 2007, 7:00 pm
Brighton Elks Lodge, 326 Washington Street, Brighton


gdalton said...

I find it disturbing that the Globe editorial finds the proposed playing fields (stadium) to be suitable for the Brighton campus.
The stadium and proposed athletic complex is every bit as intrusive as the dorms and will have as great a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

Michael Pahre said...

Hi Glory: Good point, and a good one to raise tonight. Hope you'll be there.

It will be important for us as a community to determine if the proposed stadium(s) are altogether intrusive for the site, or if particular aspects of their usage (lights, noise, number of night games, number of night-time practices, artificial turf) can be constrained to minimize the intrusiveness.