New opening date for The Commons, Little Building on schedule

The renovations of The Commons at 172 Tremont Street and the Little Building should finish in March and August of 2019 respectively, according to a college official at the weekly Student Government Association meeting Tuesday.

The City of Boston has not yet granted a permit for the college to begin renovations on The Commons. The college originally slated the building for completion in January 2019 but does not know when it will receive the permit. Vice President and Dean of Campus Life James Hoppe said building permits take time to acquire due to the slow speed of Boston bureaucracy.

Building permits provided by the City of Boston grant permission to build or renovate a building according to an approved plan.

The $2 million renovations of The Commons will include a new kitchen, new offices for some student organizations including SGA, and new meeting rooms for students. The college bought The Commons after the former owner’s original plan to add a tower of condominiums failed.

“It wasn’t necessarily something the college had been pursuingit was more of an opportunity that presented itself,” Hoppe said at the meeting.

The expected reopening of the Little Building in August 2019 remains on track, according to Hoppe. Construction in the basement and on the first floor will finish sometime during fall 2019, but students can still access the dorms while the renovations finish. The basement will include a cabaret, production, and studio space, while the first floor will contain business spaces that the college will rent out.

The City of Boston requires the Little Building to remain in good repair due to its historical landmark status. The college undertook renovations to the building’s exterior facade because it deteriorated, according to Hoppe.

In addition to the Little Building renovations, the college will expand the sidewalk on Boylston Street. The 8-foot expansion will stretch from Edgar Allan Poe Way to the intersection of Tremont and Boylston Streets. The new sidewalk will include seating and planters and will shrink Boylston Street from four lanes to three. Sidewalk construction will begin in February or March of 2019, according to Hoppe.

“It’ll be more like a campus promenade,” Hoppe said.

SGA also confirmed Sophomore Daniella Baltazar as the new honors program commissioner. She hopes to use her position to create a safe space for honors students to voice their concerns about the program.

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