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Construction of Center for Student Services Begins

University seeks to limit noise and distraction


Navigate through the graphic above to see how the new center will grow. Graphic by Joseph Chan

Now you see it, now you don’t.

If you never noticed the tiny two-story building at 108 Bay State Road, it’s too late now. The University office building was demolished last month, launching construction of the Center for Student Services on East Campus. What you can expect to see in the coming months is the birth of a 121,646-square-foot structure.

The University is striving to minimize public disruptions resulting from work on the 100 Bay State Rd. center, which is scheduled to open in September 2012.

In particular, there are no plans to interrupt or detour traffic on Bay State Road or Deerfield Street, says project overseer Walt Meissner (CFA’81), associate vice president for operations.

“From time to time, there will be deliveries, and a lot of equipment will be coming and going, but the site will be fenced to keep the activity within,” Meissner says. The alley threading between the site and 575 Commonwealth Ave. will close at its eastern end during the excavation phase of the project, through mid-May, requiring those who park behind the 100-to-130 block of Bay State Road to enter and exit via Silber Way. But the alley will reopen most or all evenings, he says, and close only occasionally during construction hours after that phase.

Moreover, he says, BU chose a type of foundation for the center that will “limit vibration and noise in the area.” Construction work will generally run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, with occasional Saturday work. The location and size of police details needed to direct equipment and deliveries to the site are in the planning stage, he says.

Ten trees on Bay State Road, Deerfield Street, and along the alley have already been removed. They “were not in particularly good health,” Meissner says. “The city was supportive of our plan” to eliminate them, “agreeing that it will be a significant improvement to the area.” The trees were taken down after a review by a conservation and preservation landscaping firm; 15 new trees will replace them on the two roadways.

When completed, the six-story building will house dining services and the relocated Center for Career Development and Educational Resource Center. The new center will be the eastern link in a chain of physical, mental, and spiritual amenities for students, including Marsh Chapel, the George Sherman Union, and the FitRec Center.

The University will post information and announcements about the project on a website, to be up shortly, that will include a webcam trained on the building site around the clock. “The building is designed in a manner that maintains the integrity of the look and feel of Bay State Road,” says Meissner, while its Kenmore Square side reflects that locale’s look.

To meet the September 2012 opening date, he says, “it will be critical to have the building erected, with exterior walls and the roof tight for winter, by early November” of this year.

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu. Joseph Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu.


22 Comments on Construction of Center for Student Services Begins

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 5:32 am


  • beefcity on 03.09.2011 at 5:33 am

    we want taco bell!!!

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 9:36 am


  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 9:39 am

    How about some actual affordable food on campus for a change

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 10:15 am

    Marsh Chapel is a “spiritual amenity?” Seems a cheap, consumerist label for it.

  • Brian on 03.09.2011 at 10:31 am

    I’ve been looking forward to see more detailed renderings of this building. Hopefully the website will show more than the artistic schematics.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 10:40 am

    Halaal Food

    It would be very helpful to have halaal food for the muslim community at BU. :)

  • Sarah on 03.09.2011 at 11:16 am

    This also means BU is getting rid of Towers, Myles and Shelton Dining Halls… aka the food will taste as bad as Warren. Also, when did they ask students if they wanted this? Never. Typical BUreaucracy.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 12:26 pm

    How about recognizing what bad shape a lot of the CFA buildings are in (the Huntington could use a re-build) and putting the money towards those instead of enabling lazy undergrads to walk less for their food?

  • NO, NOT TACO BELL on 03.09.2011 at 1:16 pm


  • Eatmorchikin on 03.09.2011 at 1:20 pm


  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 1:30 pm

    I wonder how they’re funding this…oh wait, we are.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 1:38 pm

    Tacobell? Sure. But how about a CHICKFILA !?!??!

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 1:57 pm

    Taco Bell is bad for your health. I would advise against eating it.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 3:18 pm

    All students should be excited for this!
    Although money may not be going towards your SPECIFIC wants, it is still going towards the improvement of the school.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 3:38 pm

    BU did ask for student input — I was there. Become more knowledgeable regarding the University planning initiatives and you will have more say. Simply arguing whenever an article appears during the construction process is neither helpful nor intelligent.

    A lot of BU students like to gripe, but they are lazy and actionless. For that, you have little credibility.

    This will be a beautiful building by a great architectural firm. This will likely be BU’s greatest architectural contribution since it’s 1960’s Sert Era buildings.

    • Anonymous on 05.23.2012 at 11:19 am

      Thank you, I totally agree. Just because it’s not handed to you on a silver platter doesn’t mean it’s not there. Maybe people should stop ignoring emails from their RAs…

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2011 at 11:53 am

    I too have strong opinions on Taco Bell!

  • Anonymous on 03.14.2011 at 11:43 am

    I know you think that taco bell is disguisting but there are NO affordible resteraunts on campus. If you don’t like it go to 1 of the other 50 overpriced places they have on campus. BU has a monopoly over where its students eat therefore chargers a much higher price then competetive eateries off campus. I mean just look at Buik St. Market…..

  • Anonymous on 03.21.2011 at 11:38 am

    The Food at Towers, Myles, and Shelton is sub-par. We should be very thankful that they are replacing those dining halls.

  • Anonymous on 06.28.2011 at 5:03 pm

    I do agree we need more affordable restaurants on campus, but Chick Fil A is not THAT cheap. BU just needs to significantly improve their dining hall program. I am taking summer classes at UMASS Amherst, and the dining hall here is absolutely incredible compared to BU. I am shocked! With the amount of money BU must have (and the amount we pay for meals), they must be able to have a better or at least par dining hall. I think the biggest problem is that there are too many students who are too picky about everything. The reason the food at UMASS is so good is because it is simple. They have Chicken Parmesan, and it tastes good — not some “Cuban Cilantro Beef Slices with Artichoke Pesto side” as they do at BU.

    In terms of affordable restaurants, we need more places like the Busy Bee on Beacon St. Okay, the food isn’t THAT great, but you get what you pay for. If you want super healthy food, expect to pay more for it; but, that doesn’t mean the people who are willing to eat simple food can’t get it. Northeastern, for example, has On the Go @ Crossroads Market – Coffee, bakery, and sushi, D’Angelos Subs, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Freshens Smoothies, and the West End Eatery in their student center. We have a bunch of random chains no one has ever heard of, or Panda which is a frequent in Rest Areas, Rhetts is some revolutionary new idea! Let’s get rid of all the food trying to be fancy, and stick with simple food that tastes good and is good for you!

  • Anonymous on 09.14.2011 at 11:58 pm

    how about a gym?

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