Stokes Hall and what it means for sports
receiving a lot of media attention. The project represents the University's commitment to the humanities, but I also think it could serve as a template for BC Athletics...and not just because it sits on the original home of Alumni Stadium.
BC has numerous Athletic construction project needs. Just at a high level, BC needs to renovate the Plex, finally build the baseball/softball complex, commit to heavy renovation or total rebuild of the Conte/Alumni complex and build an indoor practice facility (the practice facility might be shoehorned into the Plex or Alumni remodel). All might seem daunting to Brad Bates, but if he looks to Stokes, he will hopefully realize it can be done.
Use of Space
No one wanted to see the Dust Bowl go away, but BC needed the space. There are pockets around campus that could also support some of Athletic's needs. Bates and the planning team just need to be creative and also appease those who fear the loss of more green space or don't want a congested campus.
BC raised $78 million for the building, including a named donation for $22 million. If planned right and if they approach the right donors, Bates could easily raise more than $100 million. Now $100 million won't cover all the projects on the "To Do" list but it could cover the Plex and Indoor Practice Facility. The cost of the Alumni/Conte renovations really depend on how far BC is willing to go.
Although it is nestled along what's left of the Dust Bowl, Stokes was a big undertaking and a big building. BC could have halved the square footage and still had a significant project. I hope BC thinks big on the sports needs too. I've referenced a Conte/Alumni renovation, but what about a full demolition and rebuild on the same footprint? That way we could build something that met our needs for football, basketball, hockey, hockey practice, basketball practice, football practice and meeting space. It would probably cost $400 million+, take three years and involve our teams using the Garden or Fenway for a few seasons, but long-term it would be worth it. The people who pushed Stokes thought that way. The people in charge of Athletics need to do the same.