Public records detail $1.1 million increase for 172 Tremont project


Interior renovations to 172 Tremont St. will cost the college approximately $3.1 million. Maia Sperber / Beacon Correspondent

By Chris Van Buskirk, Contributing Reporter

Interior renovations to The Commons at 172 Tremont St. tacked on $1.1 million more than the college initially anticipated, according to City of Boston public records.

The college expected to spend approximately $2 million on interior renovations to the proposed student center, according to a document detailing the project. However, a new building permit issued to the college by the city of Boston values the project at $3.1 million.

Approximately $400,000 of the extra $1.1 million was used to replace the building’s elevator, according to Senior Associate Vice President for Real Estate Arthur Mombourquette. The elevator’s dimensions did not meet requirements mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mombourquette said, and the administration decided to replace it.  

“One of our concerns was if a wheelchair could easily navigate in and out of the elevator, and we were short by several inches,” he said. “We decided to make the investment and make sure we got it right.”

The final building permit comes almost three months after the Boston Planning and Development Agency approved the college’s project at 172 Tremont St. Although college officials originally said the building would be ready for use in January 2019, doors are expected to open March 11.

The floor plans for the $24 million building detail 13 meeting spaces, exclusively gender-neutral bathrooms, and organization offices for The Berkeley Beacon, the EVVY Awards, the Student Government Association, and Emerson Independent Video.

EIV General Manager Nuria Pellicer said the organization uses their basement-level office in the Max Mutchnick Campus Center as a meeting, editing, and storage space, while trying to keep it available for both executive producers and staff members to use.

“We are 20 percent of the undergraduate population, so we do have—I wouldn’t say a bigger need—but we do have a need for our own office space,” she said. “I think having a space that is a little bit more enjoyable than a fluorescent basement to be in will be really nice for us.”

Organizations with offices currently located in the Max Mutchnick Campus Center can apply for storage areas in the basement of 172 Tremont St. The last bookable day for the Campus Center’s main and L1 floor is Feb. 15.