Written by William Tolan
While most students enjoyed a break from the rigors of academia during the summer months, Loyola’s campus stayed booked with revitalization and construction projects.
Several initiatives took place around the Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses, including construction on the Mundelein Center, the main parking structure at Lake Shore, the Cudahy Science Building and a new Father Arnold J. Damen, S.J. Memorial.
“Doing these projects to maintain and enhance the beauty of our campuses during the summer, when we have only about 25 percent of the students taking classes, assures the least amount of disruption to our campus during the regular academic year,” said Loyola’s Interim President John Pelissero.
The most noticeable change on campus is likely the addition of the Father Damen Memorial — dedicated to the founder of Loyola. This sculpture was installed near the south entrance of the Damen Student Center on Aug. 13.
“The Father Damen Memorial is a nice addition to campus and it will help put a face to the Damen name that is seen and heard across campus,” said senior Italian major Mike DeStefano. “We have a building and an award named after Father Damen, but so many students know nothing about him.”
Construction on the Mundelein Center, Cudahy Science Building and Pearson Street began in May. Crews also added a new ramp and crosswalk at Sheridan Road and Arthur Avenue. While the majority of these projects are finished, a few are expected to continue into the school year.
Work on Pearson Street isn’t expected to be completed until October, said Loyola’s Associate Vice President for Facilities Kana Wibbenmeyer. The project involves infrastructure upgrades and streetscape elements, which include new curbs, gutters and Americans With Disabilities Act crosswalks on Pearson Street where it intersects with State Street, Wabash Avenue and Rush Street.
During construction, traffic will be limited to one lane, parking will not be permitted in construction locations and some of the side streets will have periodic parking restrictions.
“The Pearson streetscape work is a Chicago Department of Transportation project and is not managed by Loyola,” said Wibbenmeyer. “We maintain regular contact communication with their project team in order to ensure that campus activities like move-in and the block party are [not interrupted].”
Wibbenmeyer also said the Cudahy Science Building’s copper dome is being replaced due to age. The work on the 110-year-old building will not be completed until mid-October. The construction will not be an inconvenience for students and faculty, according to Wibbenmeyer.
Age was another reason for renovation on the Mundelein Center, Pelissero said. Renovations on the building, which were completed in June, included repairing the terrace structure for the east entrance, reconstructing plant boxes and waterproofing the 80-year-old building’s foundation.
Senior English and journalism double major Beth Newhart said she believes the changes are beneficial to Loyola.
“As a senior, I have never known a Loyola that was not under construction, and it’s simply become a part of campus life,” said Newhart, 20. “But we all know how hard the school has worked to improve its image and reputation, and we can see firsthand what an effect these changes have had on Loyola.”
DeStefano, 21, said that while he was unaware of the changes taking place on campus, he feels it was smart of Loyola to work on the projects during the summer.
“I didn’t notice that Cudahy or Mundelein needed repairs, but I hadn’t been paying attention to that until the construction was announced,” DeStefano said. “The university made a good decision in doing the majority of the construction during the summer so that it doesn’t become a nuisance during the academic year.“