The Boston College facilities enhancement got underway this week as the university began the demolition of Edmonds Hall. Edmonds, the site of the future recreation complex, is the first step of a three-phase process that will ultimately culminate in a football indoor practice facility and new baseball and softball stadiums.
As Edmonds begins to come down, BC also began the process of reviewing plans for the baseball and softball stadiums with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Those plans are currently Under Review with the BRA, but they provide the first glimpses into the future state the university has planned for the programs.
Per the 99-page application document available on the BRA’s website, Boston College intends to build both a baseball and softball stadium on the Brighton campus at the site of St. John’s Seminary.
Construction of the facilities is expected to begin in March, 2017 with completion in March, 2018. That would put the Eagles programs on pace to play the next three seasons on their existing fields at Shea Field, unless construction on the IPF begins on Shea Field prior. That would potentially displace both programs for one or two seasons depending on when the fieldhouse construction begins.
Both the baseball and softball fields will be built in the bowl on St. John’s Seminary utilizing artificial turf. The softball field would have a clay infield, while the baseball field would utilize artificial turf on both the playing field and basepaths. This approach is used by comparable northern programs such as Northeastern, Pittsburgh, and others.
The baseball stadium is proposed to include two outdoor batting tunnel with full bullpen facilities for both the home and visiting teams. It would also include bathroom and storage rooms in both dugouts, submerged instead of the upright dugouts currently at Shea, which would feature cantilevered roofs. The home dugout would include a replay room.
The proposal states the stadium would have 1,000 armchair seats on aluminum decking in front of a prefabricated press box behind home plate with camera area. This number is down from the original 1,500 seats proposed as mitigation for complaints from the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, the field would utilize lighting from eight light poles, providing the ability to play night games on television for NCAA broadcasts.
Both stadiums would use a 3,000-square foot support building for ticket sales, first aid, storage, and restrooms, alon with four storage buildings for equipent and supplies. These are 12-feet by 20-feet.
While there are over 225 parking spots at the current Seminary site, the development will create a decrease in available space. The proposal included 159 surface area parking space, distributed over four parking spots. The proposal did note 750 total parking spots on Brighton Campus, and it noted cars could park on the new recreation field which is also being built as part of the development on the field. This parking area would also include television production area so Boston College baseball can be televised on media outlets.