Loyola’s proposed residence hall will be named St. Joseph’s Hall, Loyola officials announced at a community meeting Monday night. The meeting had no attendance from the public.
The Board of Trustees will officially vote on plans Sept. 13. If approved, the building will be open for residents in August 2020, according to Kana Henning, Loyola’s associate vice president for facilities.
Loyola proposed construction of the $47 million residence hall in June, which would be located at the 6300 block of North Winthrop Avenue.
Loyola has had difficulties housing its first-year and sophomore students in recent years. St. Joseph’s would provide more than 400 extra beds for first-year and sophomore students, The Phoenix reported.
Like many residence halls at Loyola, if approved, St. Joseph’s Residence Hall will be named after a Jesuit university, located in Philadelphia and founded in 1851.
The Edgewater Historical Society has opposed the demolition of a single family home and apartment complex where St. Joseph’s is set to be located but were also not in attendance. The locations of the buildings proposed for demolition are 6312 N. Winthrop Ave. and 6326 N. Winthrop Ave.
Henning, who led the meeting, revealed information about the construction process and 3D renderings of what the building would look like if approved by the Board of Trustees. The building plans showed a modern and high-tech structure made largely of glass.
Henning said she hopes St. Joseph’s will bridge the gap between the east and west sides of campus.
“Our hope is that the east-west connection will help to create a better sense of community among our south campus residents by creating a safe passage mid-block, rather than finding other less traveled and potentially unsafe routes between the blocks of Kenmore and Winthrop,” Henning said.
Henning requested a zoning variance from Harry Osterman, Alderman of Chicago’s 48th Ward, who was in attendance at the meeting. Zoning variance is a minor change to the amount of land needed for construction on a lot. The changes proposed would alter the dimensions of the residence hall and allow it to further extend to the alley behind it and the street in front of it.
Henning requested a setback of 22 feet from the alley behind North Winthrop Avenue instead of the city-mandated 45 feet. This would allow more room for construction closer to the alley.
Jennifer Clark, Loyola’s vice president of campus and community planning, said the location of the new residence hall may have decreased community interest because Loyola owns most of the property near the proposed site, meaning not many community members are directly impacted.
Around 200 local residents were invited to the community meeting. Loyola Communications Specialist Sarah Howell and Osterman’s chief of staff Dan Luna also attended.
“I was very surprised at the turnout,” Clark said. “This hasn’t happened in the 17 years I’ve been here.”
Henning also said it’s likely the residents don’t have strong opinions about the proposed residence hall.
Since there was no one from the community present, Osterman said he would reach out to Edgewater North Neighbors to discuss the variance at the next meeting.
Osterman did not respond to The Phoenix’s request for comment at the time of publication.
The Phoenix originally published the name of the residence hall as St. Joseph. That was incorrect — the name of the residence hall is St. Joseph’s Hall.