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Construction on New Julie Hall Dorm Confirmed to Begin June 2016

On June 10, Emmanuel College officially announced via email and the Portal that Julie Hall will, indeed, be knocked down, and replaced with a new 18-story residence hall.


Julie Hall in its current state. Photo: Heather Alterisio

“Featuring contemporary apartment-style living spaces, the 18-story student residence will enable a greater proportion of students to live on campus. The new building marks the College’s latest initiative to provide extraordinary student life experiences,” Sister Janet Eisner, SND wrote.

Students have been hearing rumors about Julie Hall for months, with Sister Anne Donovan officially addressing the project at an SGA meeting back in February. In March, the Hub also worked with the Department of Residence Life and Housing to organize a Housing Selection and Inventory Forum for students to pose their questions.

Doubts surrounding the project came from serious concern over funding. As Susan Benzie, Director of Residence Life and Housing, said at that February SGA meeting, “We have to make sure the building can pay for itself.” Emmanuel’s goal was to find a sister institution to share the new building with, and that is what they did. According to the Emmanuel website, “MCPHS University has engaged in a long-term partnership in the new residence hall. Emmanuel and MCPHS University are both members of the Colleges of the Fenway (COF), a collaborative of six neighboring Boston-based colleges in the Fenway area. Neighboring colleges have a long history of collaboration on academic and student housing initiatives.”

This news comes only a few weeks after an article in the Boston Business Journal called out Emmanuel for its “risky business.” Managing Editor Craig Douglas wrote, “Last week, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its credit rating for Emmanuel to Baa2 — just two notches above junk status — due to the elevated ‘execution risk’ of the college’s borrowing and construction plan. The ratings firm’s concerns stem from the costs tied to Emmanuel’s planned $141 million bond sale next month, a borrowing round that will roughly double the school’s long-term debt.”

Douglas went on to explain that the recent partnership with MCPHS could be beneficial as their “enrollment has spiked in recent years.”

“It’s been a different story at Emmanuel. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2015, the college’s enrollment tumbled 8 percent to 2,311 full-time equivalent students,” said Douglas. “While total revenue grew during that same span to $63.6 million from $56.7 million, the financial strains from Emmanuel’s enrollment challenges have been apparent.”

MCPHS was not available for comment at this time.

“As an incoming Emmanuel student,” Meloee Nazaire ’20 said, “I am more than excited to have a new addition to the campus. I fell in love with the environment the very moment I stepped foot unto Emmanuel. As constructions will finalize in time for the class of 2022, I can’t wait for them to experience the same comforting feeling I encountered, when they visit the new campus as well as the new hall. ”

Currents students should check their emails for more instructions about temporary housing and what to expect next.

On June 15, facilities and Tobin and Sons began moving all of the trash and furniture out of the building.

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There will be a ceremony outside Julie Hall next Wednesday, June 22 at 2 p.m. to bless the site of the new residence hall. All are welcome to attend.

Sister Janet wrote on the Portal, “Julie Hall was the College’s first residence hall, built in 1958, and was home to students of the 1960s and early 1970s. It became part of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1974, and in 2002 it “came home” to Emmanuel to provide living space for a growing coeducational student population. Now Julie Hall is about to become the site of another historic advance for the College, one that will set the stage for the classes of Emmanuel College’s second century.”

Heather Alterisio ’17 is the Executive Managing Editor and a Staff Writer for the Hub. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @HeathAlt.

Posted by on June 15, 2016. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.