Brendan Bonner ’23
With the construction of the Prior Performing Arts Center now completed, Crusaders may be curious about the new and nearby construction project that is just getting underway. Right across from the Jo, the college has begun progress on a new set of apartment style dorms for the ever growing student population. With this year heralding our largest first year class ever, new living spaces are all but necessary as the Crusader community continues to flourish.
The building project consists of two three-story townhouse style apartments, each covering nearly twenty thousand square feet. Furthermore, the buildings will contain seventy two beds across its ten dormitories, making it an ambitious project and a welcome addition to on campus living options. Similarly to other upperclassmen dorms such as Williams and Figge, the rooms will hold kitchens, dining areas, various common areas, and lounges for student leisure and living.
The new building project finds itself right next to Ciampi Hall, which is the on campus Jesuit residence, and looking out on northern City View street. One notable element of the project is that in order to provide enough space, four single family dwellings had to be razed and removed to accommodate the large construction project. These buildings were owned by the college in the first place, thus no displacement occurred in order to facilitate upperclassmen living. However, several thousand square feet of wooded area was redeveloped.
Towards the end of last semester, Dean Murray commented on the immediacy of the housing need on campus, and ultimately why the project needed to be pushed through and approved quickly. Dottie Hauver, VP for Administration and Finance, was quoted as saying, “We cannot wait for that plan to be complete before beginning to make some long-awaited improvements to student housing.”
The plan in question comes from the design tables of members of the Sasaki design firm, a globally-renowned firm that practices primarily in the design of college and university campuses. While staying true to their design scheme seems to be of importance, a need for student housing has trumped that as of now.
Details are relatively sparse as the project is still in the early stages of production, yet freshmen and sophomore students should be on the lookout for information about a new residence hall for potentially their junior and senior years at the college. With one project done, the excitement on the hill has clearly not subsided, as students now have a new modern facility to look forward to visiting in the coming years.