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Emmanuel Proposes Julie Hall Plans, Many Questions Still Unanswered

On the evening of November 16, Emmanuel College hosted a Longwood Medical Area (LMA) Forum, as required by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, to present to the city of Boston its plans to rebuild Julie Hall. This construction affects not only students on campus but the neighbors around Brookline Avenue as well.

David Manfredi, the main face of Bostons’s failed Olympic bid and co-founder of Elkus Manfredi Architects, stood before a room of no more than 30 people to break down the blueprint for Emmanuel’s intended skyscraper. The audience included representatives from Beth Israel Deacon Medical Center, the Riverway neighborhood, MASCO, Councilor Zakim’s office, Representative Sanchez’s office, Fenway News, the Inn at Longwood, and the Emmanuel College Task Force.

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Aerial view of the location for the new Julie Hall. Image taken from the Public Notification Form.

“The replacement building is very similar to Julie Hall now,” Manfredi announced. As explained in a previous article, the new building will feature 691 beds in a layout similar to the current suites on the ground floor of Julie. Sister Anne Donovan, Emmanuel College treasurer, believes that these apartment-like dorms will appeal to upperclassmen and “take students out of surrounding neighborhoods.”

Only 466 of these beds will be for Emmanuel College students and Residence Life.

“The other 225 beds,” Manfredi puts forward, “will be for a sister institution.” When asked who Emmanuel has been talking to about this possibility, Sr. Donovan admits, “We don’t know that yet.” A discussion has not even been initiated. She adds, “It is assumed that it will be Simmons or another College of the Fenway though.”

Blueprint of new ground floor of Julie Hall, which includes Emmanuel students and those of a potential sister institution. Image taken from the Public Notification Form.

Regardless, Sr. Donovan says, “We want to begin construction in May 2016 and finish by August 2018.”

The Hub asked, “If this is happening in May, when and how does Emmanuel intend on informing its students about this proposal? And how will it accommodate the 300 or so students who normally would stay in Julie during those two years of construction?”

“We have not quite figured that out,” Sr. Donovan reports. “Most likely, students will spill over into Notre Dame and Trilogy. We will ask for help from other colleges as well. Unfortunately, these details have not yet been discussed. We have to ask for some patience during this time.”

Another person asked how Emmanuel plans to increase to 2200 students, as the Institutional Master Plan states. Sr. Donovan says, “Honestly, I don’t see that in the next decade.” Ideally, Emmanuel would like to expand, but that is not the goal right now. Currently, the administration wishes to house 76% of its students on campus and then move forward from there.

A hard copy of Emmanuel’s proposal is now available at the Cardinal Cushing Library on reserve at the Circulation Desk under the name “Treasurer Office.” For those interested, here and here are links to the proposed revisions to Emmanuel’s 2012 Institutional Master Plan.

The public comment period through the Boston Redevelopment Authority regarding this proposal has now been extended until December 21. This allows for any member of the community to submit a formal comment before the city grants permission to proceed with construction.

Heather Alterisio ’17 is a Staff Writer for the Hub. She can be contacted at alterisioh@emmanuel.edu or on Twitter @HeathAlt.

Posted by on November 24, 2015. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.