Saturday, December 27, 2014

Villanova presenting expansion plan in January

Villanova University will present its expansion plans to the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners in late Jan. 2012

Villanova presenting expansion plan in January

An aerial view of Villanova University’s campus along Lancaster Avenue, including designs of the proposed residence halls.
An aerial view of Villanova University’s campus along Lancaster Avenue, including designs of the proposed residence halls. (courtesy Villanova University)

An e-newsletter from Radnor Township Commissioner John Nagle announced that Villanova University will give a presentation on its expansion plans to the Board of Commissioners in late Jan. 2012.

The newsletter, issued Wednesday, Dec. 21 and administered by Nagle to his Ward 5 constituents, stated that the university recently had public meetings to discuss expansion plans, which seek to create residential housing for approximately 1,160 junior and senior undergraduate students on the current main parking lots along Lancaster Avenue.

In addition to residential additions, the university’s expansion plan, which, according to the website is an “important component of the Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan,” also calls for a limited amount of University-operated retail to complement the residential space. The website states the student-centric retail could include a new university bookstore, convenience store and a Villanova bistro.

The plan also calls for the construction of a parking structure to hold approximately 1,800 vehicles, as well as a performing arts center to support campus programs such as Villanova Theatre and Student Theatre.

Villanova’s website state several project benefits. Among them include a decrease in traffic to and from campus, a reduction in student and vehicle presence in neighborhoods, significant project-related revenues to Radnor Township, improve stormwater management on and near campus and an increase in available housing stock in the surrounding communities.

The university also states that the additional campus residential units will increase the number of undergraduate students housed to 85 percent.

The university’s Residence Life website states that Villanova currently houses about 4,500 of the more than 6,300 undergraduate students enrolled at the university.

In an e-mail interview, Nagle said he was unable to attend the public meetings, and that so far he has received no feedback from the residents in his ward. He added that he reviewed the plans and thinks it will benefit the campus and the surrounding community.

“If anything there should be some sighs of relief because this should reduce pressure from student rentals,” Nagle wrote to Neighbors. “I think we have a good opportunity to address stormwater runoff issues and increased buffering along the borders.”

The project’s question and answer portion of the website states that project is still in the early planning stages, but estimates the project costs to be about $200 million or more, and that funds will come from a combination of contributions, tax exempt debt and University equity.

The university’s timeline indicates that construction for the garage and residence hall could begin as early as May 2013 and May 2014, respectively. Construction on the performing arts center is contingent on fundraising.

Nagle’s e-newsletter advises residents to review the plans and provide feedback.

To learn more about the expansion project’s plans click here.

Attempts to reach Villanova officials for comment on the project’s plans were unsuccessful.

Radnor residents are encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions on the expansion plans (neighborsmainline@gmail.com or jfernandez@philly.com)

About this blog
Josh Fernandez is a 2011 graduate of Temple University where he studied journalism and gender studies. He was a writer and editor for The Temple News, and has interned at Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Daily News. Josh lived in Aston, Pa. in Delaware County before moving to University City in Philadelphia.

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