Construction Update: Francis Hall Finished, Cudahy Science Hall Almost Done

Rylee Tan | The PhoenixLoyola's newest residence hall — Francis Hall — was set to open for students this fall, but due to the suspension of on-campus housing, the dorm currently remains empty.

Loyola’s two main construction sites on the Lake Shore Campus (LSC) — Francis Hall and Cudahy Science Hall — are winding down after months of work and millions of dollars spent. 

Francis Hall, a new first-year dorm built to relieve crowded dorms and housing insecurity for students, has been under construction since 2019 and cost $47 million, according to Kana Henning, associate vice president for facilities — Loyola’s department managing maintenance. 

Francis Hall was scheduled to open for the fall 2020 semester but was pushed back following the suspension of on-campus housing, The Phoenix reported

Francis Hall is equipped with double and single rooms.
Rylee Tan | The Phoenix

Henning said construction is complete but the building is still “wrapping up” in the coming weeks and adding finishing touches to the interior. Francis Hall is set to house first-year Interdisciplinary Honors students, some sophomore students, a Jesuit priest and a faculty-in-residence, The Phoenix reported

Each floor has study lounges, double or single rooms, an open lounge and kitchen and laundry, according to Heather McNitt — project manager for Loyola Facilities. Rooms facing east towards Lake Michigan have floor-to-ceiling windows while west-facing rooms have reinforced glass to dampen the sound of the CTA Red Line train right outside, McNitt said. Rooms are suite-style and share a private bathroom between them.  

The hall also has a kitchen on every floor.
Rylee Tan | The Phoenix

The first floor also has classrooms, residence life staff offices and a small cafe, McNitt said.

Henning said the facilities department is looking to get LEED Silver certification for Francis Hall — a certification encouraging sustainable building practices —  in the future and has a new efficient heating and cooling system, sustainable lighting and water reduction strategies. 

Francis Hall also has multiple study lounges.
Rylee Tan | The Phoenix

On the other side of campus lies Cudahy Science Hall, under construction since December 2019, The Phoenix reported. Cudahy — built in 1910 — was renovated to upgrade physics labs and classrooms, among other things. 

Henning said construction will be finished by mid-November as opposed to the original finishing date of Aug. 1. 

“All delays [in construction] were due to COVID-19,” Henning said. “We had issues [in the] supply chain for material and equipment in the building.” 

Henning also said the workforce had to be scaled down to accommodate social distancing measures. Despite the delays, she said the project is still on track for its $14.5 million budget. 

Updates to Cudahy include renovated elevator and HVAC systems, new labs and classrooms and refreshing the 110-year-old building’s infrastructure. 

Despite speculation Cudahy’s famous dome would open after renovations, Henning said as of now it’ll remain closed off to students.

“There is a design in the future to turn it into a gathering space or usable space for students, faculty and staff,” she said. “But at this point it’s still unfinished.”

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