Boston College Margot Connell Recreation Center

Chestnut Hill, MA

Over the last 10 years, Boston College has implemented numerous campus development plans per its Institutional Master Plan (IMP), which was approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (formerly the Boston Redevelopment Agency) in 2009 and renewed in 2013 and 2016. As part of the IMP, Boston College constructed the Margot Connell Recreation Center on its Lower Campus in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, in addition to a new indoor playing space for student athletes, called Fish Field House.

Completed in 2019, the new recreation facility serves more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate/professional students, 800 full-time faculty, and 2,500 staff. This 244,000 square-foot, four-story recreation center includes six multi-purpose courts, a natatorium with indoor lap and recreational swimming pools, three indoor tennis courts, squash/racquetball courts, jogging track, rock-climbing wall, fitness center, multi-purpose rooms, administrative space, and building support space. The facility has been designed to target a LEED Silver certified project. Adjacent to the Margot Connell Recreation Center is the Lower Campus and Pine Tree Preserve, that included the design of three outdoor tennis courts, basketball court, improvements to the entry Plaza of Alumni Stadium, walking trails, and views of the Reservoir.

VHB led the site/civil design for this project and the technical permitting. They also managed the Article 80 review process, including an amendment to the IMP, Large Project Review and Institutional Master Plan Review, as well as review by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. In support of city approval and design, VHB provided transportation planning services. VHB continued services through the construction of the project.

People playing tennis at the outdoor tennis courts with the Margot Connell Recreation Center in the background. The Pine Tree Preserve walking trails through shade trees that is located adjacent to the Margot Connell Recreation center. People walking into the front entrance of the Margot Connell Recreation Center.


  • Boston College


  • Civil Engineering

  • Transportation Planning

  • Permitting