Dear Academy Families,
I just returned to my office from an exciting meeting about three important building projects on the BU campus:
the new law school five-story addition and renovation of the law tower;
the relocation of BU’s undergraduate admission offices from Bay State Road to a completely renovated Hillel building attached to the BU Castle; and
our own Academy project., with a new atrium, entrance in the parking lot, and arts renovations.
Compared to the logistics of the first two construction projects, our own seems like “a walk in the park.”
We still hope that Phase II of our project will begin later this spring and be completed over the summer of 2013; to this end, we are in the pipeline for a variety of approvals, including from the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). Given the many pieces in motion on campus, we might not learn until February whether we can move forward on all of Phase II this coming summer (much depends on BRA approval in time), or only some subset, which I am fondly now calling Phase II-A. I’ll be certain to keep you posted!
It is fair to note that with both larger projects — to the law school and the former Hillel structure — there will be significant construction for at least 18 months behind the School of Theology, Marsh Chapel, and the Tsai Performance Center – in other words, along the campus road parallel to Storrow Drive connecting University Road and Bay State Road, running in part along the BU Beach. This might mean our cross country team will have to wind around the eastern side of Marsh Chapel to access the pedestrian bridge to the Esplanade, or that those of us who commute on foot to the Back Bay will temporarily have to find alternative ways to access Bay State Road. It might even mean at certain points in time that University Road will have construction vehicles and deliveries disrupting it briefly, though at those moments there will be additional BU police officers helping to direct traffic. Whatever the potential inconveniences, however, just keep reminding yourself that all this construction is a sign of BU’s and BUA’s institutional health, resulting in exciting new buildings.
Speaking of traffic, I must strongly repeat my request that parents dropping off and picking up Academy students do not do so at the curbside, or even in the mouth of our driveway – where the gate posts create a bottle neck even without a car pulling over and then doing a u-turn. Please always pull fully into our parking lot, drop off safely, and then pull out. I appreciate that getting out of the mouth of our driveway can be difficult, but it is always the safest method, and our students’ safety is our first concern. Thanks for honoring this expectation.
Did I say our project was “a walk in the park” before? I must not have been thinking of the disruption to our own parking lot it will temporarily involve…!
James S. Berkman
Head of School