The Mertz construction is meant to prevent leaks while the statue’s space has added greenery to campus.
Construction on Lake Shore Campus Installs St. Ignatius Statue, Repairs Mertz
A new sculpture centered on a small terraced grassy area between Cudahy Science Hall and Cuneo Hall at the Lake Shore Campus has been completed, according to Senior Associate Vice President for Facilities at Loyola Kana Henning.
The sculpture depicts St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the religious order of the Jesuits and established the founding beliefs of Loyola, according to Henning.
Work on the sculpture and the grass area began over the summer, along with a variety of other construction projects which began at the same time, The Phoenix previously reported. It was completed about two weeks ago, according to Henning.
Therese Giannini, a third-year student, said she thinks it would be good for the school to take more advantage of their water front space at the Lake Shore Campus.
“Especially since we are by the lake and stuff, I think it would be nice if there was more nature incorporated within campus,” Giannini said. “It would really liven it up.”
Giannini said she thinks because Loyola is so environmentally friendly, the creation of additional nature areas would provide opportunities for students to conduct research and learn about the outdoors.
The only current ongoing construction project started over the summer is the changes being made to what was formerly a fountain in front of Piper Hall, according to Henning. This piece of construction is expected to be completed over winter break, and includes the installation of storm drainage systems in the area, The Phoenix previously reported.
Anna Buttell, a third-year student, said she wished the university would provide students with more outdoor spaces in general, even considering the completion of the recent construction.
“I really wish that they installed more seating areas outside, places where you could work outside,” Buttell said. “I feel like otherwise everyone is just sitting on the ground and it’s uncomfortable.”
Although the university is putting together campus construction plans for next summer, those plans won’t be available until after winter break, according to Henning.
“We always continue to look at projects that we have on the horizon,” Henning said. “We are right now going through pricing exercises and understanding a little bit more about I guess, you know, refining budgets and refining our schedules.”
Henning said one of the biggest goals with recent construction has been to provide students more green spaces at Lake Shore Campus.
“There has been a concerted effort over a number of years to help expand the amount of green space on campus,” Henning said. “To provide a diversity of types of spaces that students can either have active play on or more contemplative or study or just informal gathering space.”
Buttell said she appreciates the university sending out surveys throughout the year about construction and campus accessibility to students to hear their concerns about the improvements needed around campus, even if not everyone chooses to participate in them.
Sam Fritsch, a first-year, said part of the reason he chose the university was for the outdoor space that was available to students.
“I think both of the quads are plenty enough green space,” Fritsch said. “I actually chose this campus because it had more grass.”
Construction began on the first floor of Mertz Residence Hall about a month ago in an effort to fix some recent leakage issues they have been experiencing, according to Henning.
In an effort to prevent these leaks, construction crews are removing areas of deteriorating concrete, removing and reinstalling waterproofing membranes and replacing the concrete around the base of the building.
The repairs of Mertz aren’t related to the flooding which occurred in the residence hall last year, according to Henning.
The construction on Mertz is set to be completed shortly after Thanksgiving break, according to Henning. Students will return to classes after Thanksgiving Nov. 27, according to the university calendar.
Henning said she works closely with various departments of the university to ensure they are giving students the things they need when it comes to campus improvement initiatives.
“We were always partnering with Academic Affairs and the Provost office to determine any projects that are needed,” Henning said. “We also work closely with our partners in Residence Life to identify projects that are needed to help enhance the residence halls and the residential experience for students.”
Featured image by Allison Treanor / The Phoenix