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March 18 , 2004 Print this page

La Salle University to Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony
for New $26 Million Residence Hall and Dining Facility

On Thursday, March 18 La Salle University will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of its new $26 million residence hall and dining facility. The building will house 430 students and is expected to be completed in June 2005. The ceremony will be held at 3:15 p.m.
Along with University officials, Mayor John Street and City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller are scheduled to participate in the ceremony.

The 102,921 square-foot residence hall will be a three-story complex consisting of a central entrance with four wings containing rooms. Three wings feature suites of two bedrooms for four students with a connected bath. The fourth wing features double occupancy rooms with communal bath facilities. The facilities also will have lounges and study rooms for student use.

It will be located on the school’s south campus area, a largely undeveloped area, and is the University’s first new residence hall constructed since 1989.

“Building this new residence hall shows how much we’ve changed since I was here, from a commuter school, even a neighborhood school, to a regional one that draws students from around the country and overseas,” said La Salle University President Brother Michael J. McGinniss, FSC, a 1970 La Salle graduate who grew up near the campus.

With increasing demand for on-campus housing, the University decided to add new facilities. When the new hall is completed, all resident students will live in University-owned housing.

The dining hall will seat 300 and can accommodate up to 700 meals per day. It will feature a design that allows for meals cooked-to-order for each person. There will also be a small convenience store and a community mailroom in the dining hall. The facility was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm of H2L2 Architects/Planners, LLP.

Construction will be done by Nason and Cullen, Inc. of King of Prussia and Philadelphia-based Artis T. Ore, Inc., who teamed up to form a joint venture and were the successful bidders on the project. “Nason and Cullen has a long history of building on the La Salle campus, and we are pleased to once again be serving the University together with Artis T. Ore,” says Daniel Cullen, President of Nason and Cullen, Inc. Nason and Cullen is considered one of the area’s finest general contractors serving the educational market in this region. Artis T. Ore, Inc. maintains its headquarters in Germantown and has completed many projects in the Philadelphia area including being a team member for the construction of the Kimmel Center.

La Salle officials sought a minority-owned construction firm to participate in the project, and worked with the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition and the office of City Councilwoman Miller to locate such a firm, which turned out to be Artis T. Ore, Inc., which was paired with Nason and Cullen, Inc. to submit a bid for the project.

Beginning in 1998, the University has leased units from the Ogontz Manor Apartments at Ogontz and Olney Avenues to accommodate the demand for on-campus housing.

“The high water mark was the fall of 2002. We had 2,143, students -- 65 percent of all fulltime, undergraduates -- living in university housing, and 81 percent of the freshman class lived in university residences,” said Raymond Ricci, La Salle’s Vice President for Enrollment Services. “We purposely reduced the size of the freshman class in 2003 because of housing limits. In other words, we wanted to address quality of life issues.”

”All at La Salle who were involved -- Business Affairs, Physical Facilities, Food Services, and Student Affairs, along with our architects -- worked with diligence, creativity, and a clear focus on student learning in the design of the new residence and dining facilities,” says Dr. Joseph J. Cicala, Dean of Students at the University. “Details, from security systems to living spaces, from the lounges and study rooms to arrangements in the dining center, have been developed to bring students together in settings most likely to foster the kind of personal involvement that leads to true learning on a variety of levels.”

The University’s south campus, a wide expanse adjacent to Lindley Avenue between Belfield and Ogontz Avenues, was acquired by La Salle in 1989. Since its acquisition, the University has constructed a classroom and television studio facility for its Communication Department and The Independence Blue Cross Fitness Center.