Campus Upgrades Highlight Summer Facilities Work

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Office of Facilities Management has spent the summer working to improve campus and make preparations for future projects outlined in the campus master plan, which was unveiled to the University community last semester.

One of the office’s biggest goals this summer was to make campus safer and more accessible for pedestrians. The sidewalk along City Avenue between Cardinal Avenue and 54th Street was expanded to a width of six feet, with a four-foot grass buffer between the walkway and street. The project was supported by a grant from the state of Pennsylvania. Stairs along the South Walk — leading from Mandeville Hall to Sweeney Field and up to the Francis A. Drexel Library — are also being replaced with a path to meet standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“When I first arrived at Saint Joseph’s, I walked the campus with my wife, pushing our child in a stroller,” Kevin Mueller, senior project manager, says. “I was shocked at the distance you would have to walk to get from Mandeville to Campion without using stairs. This new walkway will make the heart of campus so much more accessible.”

To install the path retaining walls needed to be built and Facilities Management tapped into another ongoing project. Stone was used from Jordan Hall, which is being demolished to make room for the construction of a new residence for the Jesuit priests who work and teach on campus. The project is a partnership with the Maryland Province, which supervises the assignment of Jesuits to the University. Loyola Center and Manresa Hall will remain in use for retired and infirmed priests. The new residence is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.

“The use of stone from Jordan Hall is the right decision from a sustainability standpoint, and it lets us infuse some campus history into a new project,” Mueller says.

Several buildings also received internal makeovers. Areas in Post Hall were renovated to create new classrooms and offices for the Department of Sociology, a dean’s suite for the School of Health Studies and Education was created in Merion Hall, and a lab on the third floor of the Science Center was remodeled.

In collaboration with PECO, several improvements and changes were made to the electrical infrastructure along Cardinal Avenue in anticipation of further development in that area.

“The campus master plan includes a number of exciting projects that could reshape the face of Cardinal Avenue,” Mueller says. “Our work today will support those projects, setting us up for success as we move the campus forward.”

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