There are a lot of staples to college campuses. A dining hall, residence centers, libraries, book stores, the places that are best to hang out at, among other amenities that may be unique to your respective university. Something that is not advertised on college tours, and definitely not enjoyed by students, but is prevalent on almost every college campus is construction.
It is ironic that students often do not know what the future is of piles of dirt and partially completed foundation with the amount of complaints that may come with potential inconveniences of construction. Here at Saint Joes, this is definitely the case right now, and will only continue to be with the 10 year plan to join Saint Joe’s campus’ across City Avenue.
Recently, a plan revisioning Saint Joe’s campus was announced. In Saint Joe’s University Magazine, the plan is described as, “a bold vision for a future campus”. The plan includes an academic expansion, modernized athletic and wellness centers, and enhanced green spaces to “enrich the student experience”. The most significant additions and renovations, as highlighted by the magazine, appears to be the addition of a City Avenue Underpass, the Maguire Campus district consisting of new student facilities and academic buildings, and improvements to athletic facilities.
In recent past, we have seen renovations to Hagan arena, resurfacing of the tennis courts, and the walkway between the academic buildings. Currently, the earliest installments of this proposed plan are underway with the building of the Jesuit Residence Community, the Arrupe Center and the parking expansion in front of the Honors building. The housing is under construction at the end of Lapsley Lane. Father Eugene Geizner plans on living in the Arrupe Center, and describes the community as providing the Jesuit Community with “ample spaces to welcome and converse with and share the Eucharist with our University/High School/Grade School Faculty, Administrators and Parish Staff. Up until now we have not had a home in which we could easily meet, pray and dine with these colleagues.”
It appears appropriate to begin the process of the Campus’ renovation with the addition of the Arrupe Center, as it is connecting not just Saint Joes’ Jesuits, but Jesuits throughout the city of Philadelphia as well. Likewise, the merging of the Maguire Campus with the Philadelphia side will make Saint Joes a more connected campus, providing students with an even more holistic learning environment praised by a Jesuit education.
While students currently at Saint Joes may be overwhelmed by lots of construction to come, it will transform Hawk Hill into a new nest that benefits the whole community.