Crane installed at construction site for new dorm

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • March 30, 2016

1459394867 crane web.jpg
The new crane can be seen from Boston Common.
The new crane can be seen from Boston Common.

A crane was installed last weekend at the site for the new 2 Boylston Pl. residence hall, according to Margaret Ings, associate vice president for government and community relations.

Construction started on the new dorm last summer, and it’s scheduled to open when the Little Building residence hall closes for renovations in fall 2017. Ings said the crane will remain on campus for eight to 10 months.

Installation began last Thursday night, and continued until early Sunday morning, according to Ings. The process required the cranes to be built on site. First, a smaller version was constructed; this was then used to put together the main crane, which stand at 350 feet, approximately 30 stories.

“It’s quite an undertaking,” Ings said.

The crane is located close to the Piano Row residence hall, and students in the building were notified by email earlier last week that the installation would take place.

Michelle Slivinski, a junior performing arts major, said the crane construction was visible from her room on the 14th floor of Piano Row. Slavinski said the noise was loud with her window open, but from the height of her room it didn’t bother her much.

Slivinski said she woke up one morning to see a construction worker smoking a cigarette on a platform across from her window.

“I wasn’t really upset by it,” Slavinski said. “But it is something that’s kind of concerning.”

As a Piano Row resident assistant, Slivinski said she was more worried about her residents feeling comfortable.

Now that the crane is operational, workers will begin to bring in materials to be used to build the new dorm structure. Currently, the site is a deep hole that was created during the excavation process. That space will be filled with concrete to establish the foundation, and then the skeleton of the building will be created.

Ings said that when students return to campus next fall, they will likely be able to see a better representation of what the building will look like.

The crane has also become a source of humor on campus. Piano Row residence director Danielle Oldfield invited students last week to submit potential names for the crane. The winning title, announced in an email to dorm residents on Monday, is “Ucrane Bolt” after Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt.

Another recently announced construction on campus, the new dining center located at 122-124 Boylston St. and 19 Boylston Pl., is currently still in the planning phase. The college held a preliminary design review meeting with the Boston Redevelopment Authority about a month ago, according to Ings. She said the BRA must approve the design before renovation can begin on the college property. That project is set to open simultaneously with the 2 Boylston Pl. dorm in fall 2017.