College applied for final 172 Tremont St. building permit, expected opening in March

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By Chris Van Buskirk

The college is expecting a final building permit authorizing all construction related tasks for The Commons at 172 Tremont St., according to a college official.

Director of Construction Management Michael Faia said the City of Boston requires 30 days to review final building permit applications after they are submitted. The college applied for the permit Oct. 8—the City of Boston should issue a permit in the next week. The college cannot complete the $2 million renovations until it receives the final building permit.

Faia said he expects renovations to finish in the middle of February or early March.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency granted a final building permit for the Little Building renovation project about two years after the board approved the proposed plan, according to the BPDA website. Little Building is still expected to open in August 2019.

The college received temporary permits to replace the existing fire alarms and begin electrical and plumbing work within the building, according to a review of public records. The first temporary permit the college received was a short-form building permit to begin interior demolition on June 14, while the most recent one was a permit to replace the fire alarms on Sept. 20.

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Temporary permits only allow the college to complete specific tasks within The Commons. For instance, the short-form building permit allowed the college to complete minor tasks such as interior demolition. The temporary permit to replace fire alarms expires in late Feb. 2019, while the temporary permits to conduct electrical and plumbing work expire in mid-March 2019, according to a review of the City of Boston’s building permit database.

Replacing the fire alarms and beginning both electrical and plumbing work cost the college approximately $596,000, according to the building permit database. The records do not list a detailed cost for interior demolition work.

The college previously said the building would open in January 2019. However, at an Oct. 23 Student Government Association meeting, Vice President and Dean of Campus Life James Hoppe said The Commons should open in March 2019.