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June 26, 2014

Each year, immediately after commencement, crews wearing hard hats swarm campus. Their goal: To complete construction and renovations before students return to BSU in the fall.

This summer, about a half-dozen construction projects are either under way or very much in the works. 

The ones begun around commencement include the renovation of the third floor of the 1995 Moakley building, the renovation of the 1912 Woodward Hall dormitory and the construction of a new welcome center, which broke ground in late April.

Tom Telford, project manager for facilities management planning, says the department has managed a dramatic change in construction in the eight-plus years he’s been with the university. At any given time, there are projects in various stages of planning and design. 

“We’re managing a very exciting Moakley third-floor renovation,” says Mr. Telford, noting that the project will be the new home for the anthropology and psychology departments. “It will have state-of-the-art technology to support those departments,” says Mr. Telford, noting that 6,500 square feet have already been gutted and framing began this month (June), with completion planned for late August. 

The renovations of the four-story Woodward Hall, directly affect hundreds of students. 

“It’s a very old wood-frame building that’s being brought up to current codes,” said Mr. Telford. “It’s a complete gut of the interior of the building.” The project will include installation of new floors, ceilings, walls, new bedroom furniture, installation of an elevator and entrance stairs. “That’s a large ongoing renovation in a pretty sizable building.”

The Massachusetts State College Building Authority is overseeing Consigli Construction of Milford on the project. Mr. Telford says renovations are expected to be completed by mid-August.

The foundation has already started to be poured for the new welcome center on Plymouth Street. The two-story, 15,000-square-foot facility on Plymouth Street will house the undergraduate, graduate and transfer admissions and the university’s financial aid offices. Mr. Telford said they expect to finish the project in May 2015.

Other projects in the works include:

Design of four new classrooms to an existing classroom facility in Yarmouth, Mass.

Installation of a new slate roof at Boyden Hall, expected to start June 16.

Demolition of the central steam plant boiler, currently under way, and construction of a new roof, starting in July.

Although many construction projects get under way after commencement, Facilities Management works with other agencies year-round to guide design, planning and construction.

In some cases, like with the Moakley renovation, work continues while a building is in use, even if that means bringing in workers nights and weekends. Moakley is a fully functioning classroom building and contains a lecture hall, so facilities management personnel attempt to avoid interruptions when work must be done. “We roll construction year-round … We try to make it seamless,” Mr. Telford said.

One of the biggest projects completed in 2014, and the one most students see, was the $3.5 million renovation of the Rondileau Campus Center entrance.

“It was quite the transformation,” says Mr. Telford, noting that work on the 1970 building made it ready for students for the spring semester. The project revamped the entrance to provide access for people with disabilities. 

He described the former entrance as being like a raised ranch home in which a person would have to walk up stairs to enter the building, and then go down steps once inside to reach the lower level. Now it’s all very close to the same level, he said. (Story by Steve Ide; photos by student Brian Zayas, University News)

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