Hoppe talks ongoing campus construction with SGA


Photo: Andrew Brinker

Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe told SGA members that the Boylston Street sidewalk construction will be paused for the winter in the coming weeks.

By Andrew Brinker, Senior Investigative Reporter

Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe spoke with members of the Student Government Association Tuesday about construction projects at the college, announcing that the sidewalk expansion on Boylston Street will conclude for winter in the coming weeks.

Hoppe said the city of Boston requires the college to pause some construction projects during the winter to avoid safety concerns brought on by snowfall and frigid temperatures. Hoppe said construction on the sidewalk should resume around mid-March once the college receives permission from the city. 

“Obviously, right now the sidewalk is very narrow and creating some issues,” Hoppe said. “That’s part of the reason the city makes us stop construction during the winter. We have to get it to a point where we can then make it useful as is.” 

Hoppe also provided a detailed description of changes to the Little Building and Piano Row coming in the next year. 

The first floor of the Little Building is undergoing renovations to become a student performance center that will feature two cabaret-style theaters, a lounge, a food service area, rehearsal studios, and more. Hoppe said the college is hopeful the space will be open at some point next semester.

The Little Building’s second floor will feature a newly announced space known as “The Commons.” Hoppe told SGA members the space will be occupied by one large room that can fit approximately 350 people and can be turned into three smaller rooms.

Piano Row, Hoppe said, will also undergo major renovations as the building will host the college’s new fitness center starting in spring 2021. After the construction is complete, the main entrance to the building will become the doors bordering the seafood restaurant The Shaking Crab, as the fitness center will limit access to the current entrance.

Before Tuesday’s joint session meeting concluded, Hoppe added that some additional changes are coming in the next year which he said will attempt to make Emerson’s city campus feel more like a traditional college campus. 

“[Emerson’s] campus is really just the city right now,” Hoppe said. “To a certain extent, we want it to feel more like an actual campus.”

Some of the changes will include new interactive electronic maps, signs and door covers, colored crosswalks, and path-lining sidewalk stickers.

“This all sounds amazing,” Executive Vice President Will Palauskas said at the meeting.