Villanova's Campus Transformation

Villanova continues to be a University on the move with its dramatic transformation of campus. The next addition to open—The Commons—will welcome its first residents as our newest complex this August. The much-anticipated enhancements to Mendel Field are almost complete and will be ready by the fall semester, while the Performing Arts Center is standing tall with its new stone façade and will be ready to open in early 2020.


The Commons

Final preparations are underway to ready The Commons, the new residence halls along Lancaster Avenue, for move-in for the first student residents in August 2019. The complex provides a variety of living options and includes apartments, suites and single rooms for a total of 1,135 beds. Student-centered amenities include two fitness centers, collaborative workspaces and outdoor courtyards.

The Refectory

A full-service restaurant and grill serving the entire community will open at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan avenues in fall 2019. The Refectory, a partnership between Villanova University and Zavino Hospitality Group, will provide a gathering space for students, faculty and staff, alumni, visitors and neighbors, and will serve updated American classics in a sophisticated, family-friendly atmosphere. Parliament Espresso and Coffee Bar, a café serving grab-and-go options adjacent to the restaurant, will also open this fall.

Interior rendering of the Refectory lounge

Key Milestones:

  • January 2017: Construction begins
  • August 2019: Inaugural residents move-in
  • Fall 2019: The Refectory and Parliament Espresso and Coffee Bar open

Performing Arts Center

Scheduled to open in early 2020 and host its first performances in the fall, the Performing Arts Center will unite the University’s artistic community under one roof, enriching Villanova’s campus and enhancing opportunities across disciplines. Serving as home to the Villanova Theatre program, as well as other music, performance and dance activities, it will provide a destination where students, faculty, parents, alumni and members of the local community can share their passion for the arts.

The new center will feature state-of-the-art performance spaces, including a 400-seat proscenium-style theater and a Courtyard Theater, classrooms to support education and artistic innovation, a dance studio and costume and scenery shops.

Key Milestones:

  • January 2018: Groundbreaking ceremony
  • February 2018: Construction begins
  • Early 2020: Targeted opening

Pedestrian Bridge

Connecting the University’s main campus and the residence hall communities at The Commons and on South Campus, the new pedestrian bridge spanning Lancaster Avenue opened in spring 2018. The elevated walkway extends from the Villanova Station on SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed Line to the newly expanded plaza in front of St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

A daytime image of the new Pedestrian Bridge over Lancaster Avenue

Key Milestones:

  • March 2017: Work begins on new bridge
  • August 2017: Walkway beams placed across Lancaster Avenue
  • December 2017: Bridge connected to existing SEPTA overpass
  • March 2018: Bridge opens


The Finneran Pavilion reopened in fall 2018 after a massive, $65 million renovation, kick-started by a $22.6 million leadership gift from William B. Finneran ’63 VSB. Everything inside is new, from the state-of-the-art scoreboards overhead to the seats along the sidelines. The facility earned rave reviews throughout its inaugural season for its revamped gathering and concessions spaces, enhanced audiovisual technology and new displays honoring the rich history of the Villanova Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs.

Key Milestones:

  • February 2017: Board of Trustees approves Pavilion renovation
  • June 2017: Pavilion renovation begins
  • Fall 2018: Finneran Pavilion reopens in time for Men’s and Women’s Basketball seasons


Crews are preparing to complete work in time for the fall 2019 semester on Mendel Field, the latest phase of an ambitious project launched in 2011 to create a vehicle-free, pedestrian-friendly campus core. On Mendel Field, new patios have been built in front of Old Falvey, John Barry Hall and St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery, and new brick-paved walkways with bluestone borders wrap around the reshaped field.

Mendel Field renovation facing John Barry Hall

Key Milestones:

  • Summer 2017: Phase I work begins
  • November 2017: New plaza spans St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery and brick pavers wrap around a portion of the field
  • Summer 2018: Phase II work begins
  • 2019: Project completed as walkway is finished and new plazas are added to Old Falvey and John Barry Hall


Questions and comments are welcomed.


The Commons

May 2019: Learn about the work that’s being done and how The Commons will transform campus.

Performing Arts Center

May 2019: Hear descriptions of key spaces you'll see in Villanova's new Performing Arts Center.

Finneran Pavilion

October 2018: See the final transformation of the Finneran Pavilion.  

Pedestrian Bridge

August 2017: See timelapse footage of the pedestrian bridge raising over Lancaster Avenue.