The University of Scranton Announces Plans to Construct Residence Hall and Fitness Center on Mulberry Street
On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, The University of Scranton’s Board of Trustees approved the construction of a $33 million, 189,000-square-foot complex in the 900 block of Mulberry Street that will provide fitness space, a dining area and apartment-style units for 400 juniors and seniors.
In the coming weeks, University officials will seek formal review and approval of the project from the City Zoning Board, City Council and the City Planning Commission. Pending these approvals, the project is expected to begin this summer and be completed by the fall of 2011.
“We are delighted to place this vital facility at the front door to the University, Mulberry Street, directly across from the DeNaples Center,” said Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of The University of Scranton. “The combination of housing, a fitness center and dining option will provide an active and animated presence in this area throughout the day. It also complements our ongoing work to beautify the Mulberry Street corridor from Jefferson to North Webster avenues.”
Located between Monroe and Quincy avenues, the E-shaped complex will include two- and four-bedroom apartments sharing a common kitchen and living area, a style that matches Madison Square and Mulberry Plaza located at Madison Avenue and Mulberry Street.
“We are in the great position of having more students every year who want to live in our residence halls and campus apartments,” said Vincent Carilli, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs. “We need additional apartment-style units to meet this growing demand. In addition, our long-term goal is to make the housing experience of juniors and seniors more consistent.”
Scranton guarantees four consecutive years of housing for students. According to Carilli, scores of students who left University housing for their junior year are on a waiting list to return to campus housing.
A 14,000-square-foot fitness center located on the ground floor will be more than twice the size of the University’s current fitness area and weight room combined. “In recent years, students and other members of the University community have identified the need for improved fitness space,” said Edward Steinmetz, vice president for finance/treasurer. “This project answers that call through beautifully designed space in a prominent and accessible location.”
ARAMARK, the University’s dining services partner, will offer a casual dining option on the first floor that includes indoor and outdoor seating, reducing pressure on the DeNaples Center. “The dining options in the DeNaples Center have proven so popular that we have reached in year three the levels of usage that we projected for year 10,” said Steinmetz. “Much of the increase has come from students who live in off-campus housing but choose to stay enrolled in the meal plan because of the quality and value of the plans we make available.”
A convenience store on the first floor will give students more variety of products than what is currently available in the DeNaples Center. The building will also include lounges and other gathering areas for residents. Hemmler + Camayd Architects, Scranton, are designing the building, and Sordoni Construction Services Inc., Forty Fort, will provide construction management.
The proposed design crosses over Hitchcock Court at the second floor of the building, retaining access for emergency vehicles below. In addition, an access road behind the building allows vehicles to exit onto either Monroe or Quincy avenue.
The University of Scranton announced its Board of Trustees approved the construction of a 189,000-square-foot complex in the 900 block of Mulberry Street, directly across the street from the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center. Pending approval from City authorities, the complex will provide fitness space, a dining area and apartment-style units to accommodate 400 juniors and seniors.