Loyola Builds Incentives to Keep Students On Campus

Matt Boey | The PHOENIXMontserrat is one of the buildings owned and operated by Lakeside Management of Loyola University Chicago, located near Loyola Station on North Sheridan Road.

Loyola hopes to entice upperclassman students to live on campus by expanding its apartment options in 2019.

Students rarely stay on campus after fulfilling the residency requirement to live in university housing for two years. This year, only 17 percent of juniors and about 8 percent of seniors remain in on-campus housing, according to Wayne Magdziarz, the vice president for Capital Planning and Campus Management.

“For economic reasons, students tend to move out into the Rogers Park and Edgewater area after their sophomore year,” said Magdziarz. “In the Lakeside Management groups of buildings, we try to keep the rates very competitive to attract students.”

Through its subsidiary, Lakeside Management, Loyola oversees nine apartment complexes, including The Sovereign and the newly built Montserrat. Half of the residents in these buildings are Loyola students.

Rent for these new buildings would be comparable to the cost of other rental apartments around Lake Shore campus — between approximately $2.00 and $2.25 per square foot.
However, development of new on-campus buildings won’t start until 2019, meaning the current upperclassmen likely won’t see the changes.

Due to limited space on the south side of campus, Loyola has previously consolidated properties to create larger facilities. For instance, a stretch of run-down buildings and apartments used to exist in the space de Nobili Hall now occupies.

Magdziarz said Seattle Hall and Xavier Hall, both on Winthrop Avenue, could be demolished in three to four years because they’re in older condition. The spaces could be combined with the Winthrop Avenue playlot next to Simpson Hall to give way to newer apartments. Another group of properties that could be consolidated include Winthrop Tower — a Loyola-operated apartment building — and Winthrop Lawn next to the Alumni House.

Younger students have expressed interest in having more options their senior year.

“I would be willing to live there if it were reasonably priced,” said first-year chemistry major Allison Upchurch.

For others, availability is not as important as having the adult-like experience of an off-campus home.

“I still plan on moving off campus senior year,” said junior environmental science major Celine Wysgalla.“I want to experience living in my own apartment before getting out of school”.

Most acquisitions and renovations are covered by Loyola’s “funded depreciation,” which is part of the annual operating budget for repairs and replacement. The exact budget for future purchases were undisclosed to not affect future negotiations between property owners and Loyola.

Since Loyola welcomed its largest-ever freshman class this year, students have raised concerns about measures the university has taken to house its growing population. Residence Life has converted doubles in San Francisco, de Nobili, Regis and Mertz residence halls into triples and used Loyola-owned apartments such as The Sovereign as supplementary housing for transfer students.

Loyola does not plan to increase the number of first-year students admitted next year, said Loyola’s Director of Admissions Erin Moriarty.

“We are excited with the number of students interested in being a part of our Loyola community, but we are not looking to increase our freshman class for next year,” Moriarty said.

Although creating more apartments is an objective, concrete plans are still in the works, according to Kanna Henning, associate vice president of Facilities.

“The Residence Life’s new director would need to put together a long-range strategic plan to determine what mix of housing is needed,” said Henning. “We need to look at our current properties and determine if [residence] halls need to be renovated or demolished.”

Additionally, Residence Life will provide opportunities for student input, said Clair McDonald, assistant director for Assignments, Marketing and Communication in an email.

“[We are] soliciting student feedback throughout the year as a part of developing that plan,” said Clair McDonald, “This type of planning can take some time to develop, as we will want to look at a variety of feedback.”

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