Beyond the bridge, numerous other projects are proceeding at a steady pace. A new residence hall community is rising on the former site of the main parking lots along Lancaster Avenue; the Finneran Pavilion is in the midst of a complete overhaul; Mendel Field has been cordoned off as new walkways, terraces and patios are added; plans are moving forward for a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center; and the newly renamed Inn at Villanova University recently reopened after extensive remodeling.
Construction equipment and chain-link fencing have become a common sight on campus, but the progress is clear, and the results will be spectacular.
“We appreciate the patience of our community as these projects progress. When you look around, you have moments of amazement at all that is being accomplished,” says Ken Valosky ’82 VSB, executive vice president. “The work sends a great message that Villanova is moving forward in a way that’s consistent with our national stature and that will enhance the experience of our students and strengthen bonds with our alumni.”
BRIDGE TO LIVING AND LEARNING
The biggest upcoming milestone is the opening of the new pedestrian bridge, anticipated for early 2018. The elevated walkway will extend from the Villanova Station on SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed Line to the newly expanded plaza in front of St. Thomas of Villanova Church. The orchard of crab-apple trees lining the path, which had reached the natural end of its life span when it was removed during construction, will be replanted. The pillar caps that had stood at the entrance to the church walkway also will be reincorporated into the path.
The new residence halls along Lancaster Avenue will open about 18 months later, in time for move-in at the start of the fall 2019 semester. The complex will include apartments, suites and single rooms with 1,135 beds for upperclass students, allowing 85 percent of undergraduates to live on campus.