The Columbia Point Master Planning Task Force saw the reasons they were pulled together last Thursday as a trio of would-be developers brought forth their big plans, or lack of them, for Dorchester's big toe sticking out into the bay, Columbia Point. Read more
A 2.1-mile sewer overflow tunnel being built under William J. Day Boulevard may be hitting a speed bump, as a key Columbia Point landowner is raising a stink over a planned odor control facility nearby.
The Corcoran Jennison Companies, owner of the Bayside Exposition Center, is planning on hitting local neighborhood civic associations with its concerns on the single-story brick structure, known as an odor control facility, set to be built behind the State Police barracks. Read more
Jan. 9, 2008
In sharp exchanges with some local neighborhood activists, UMass Boston officials defended their plans to build dorms to house some 1,000 on-campus beds in the next ten years as part of the school's overhaul.
"We are a commuter school. We are going to continue to be a commuter school," Ellen O'Connor, the campus's vice chancellor for administration and finance, said to roughly 40 people assembled at Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association's Monday night meeting at the Little House. Read more
Mayor Thomas Menino has appointed fifteen individuals, including residents of Columbia Point and adjacent neighborhoods, business people and one transportation advocate, to a Columbia Point Master Plan Task Force. The Boston Redevelopment Authority originally intended to choose the task force by last fall, but took longer than expected.
"There was no specific delay, it was just when we were able to get it down to the mayor and have him look at it," said BRA spokesperson Jessica Shumaker. Read more
Two new academic buildings, including a gleaming, state-of-the-art science facility (minus dangerous infectious diseases). Two new parking garages to replace the crumbling substructure holding up the plaza and campus. A glass façade and new entrance to the Healey Library.
And, of course, dorms.
UMass-Boston's final conceptual plan, presented to UMass trustees on the last day of fall semester classes earlier this month, calls for 1,000 beds in the first phase, while reaching at least 2,000 beds by the end of the 25-year plan. Read more
Taking a measured tone, the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association, which voted to oppose dorms at UMass-Boston over four years ago, is planning to meet with UMass officials as the university community considers reconfiguring its campus.
Members of the neighborhood association this week took a pass on taking a vote reaffirming the association's opposition to the prospect of dorms, which are included in each of the three conceptual plans Read more
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, whose criticism all but finished UMass-Boston's first campaign to build dorms on Columbia Point four years ago, is now saying he's open to the prospect.
"It's not a non-starter for me," he said this week at a separate Boston Redevelopment Authority event.
With students departing for on-campus housing, affordable housing in the neighborhoods would be freed up, he said. Read more
A passel of large development projects on and around Columbia Point has the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Mayor Thomas Menino itching to create a "comprehensive vision" for the Dorchester peninsula.
"There are so many exciting developments in this vibrant neighborhood and a comprehensive master plan will help the city ensure these changes are balanced with community input an eye for long term sustainability and matched with appropriate infrastructure," said City Councillor Maureen Feeney in a prepared statement. Read more
He is "still in a discovery mode" when it comes to the campus strategic plan for the future, UMass-Boston's Keith Motley said, and that includes dorms.
Appointed as UMass-Boston's chancellor in June, Motley takes over the campus as Boston's only public university seeks to compete with its private counterparts, raising enrollment to 15,000 from 12,000 over the next few years.
The campus is also struggling with an estimated $600 million in deferred maintenance costs, along with a two-level substructure that had previously served as a parking garage. Read more