Villanova's Campus Transformation

Villanova continues to be a University on the move with its dramatic transformation of campus. The latest addition to open—The Commons—welcomed its first students in August. The much-anticipated enhancements to Mendel Field have been completed.

The Performing Arts Center is standing tall with its new stone façade and will be ready to open in spring 2020.


The Commons

The first-ever residents of The Commons, the new housing complex along Lancaster Avenue, moved in this August. The six new buildings provide a variety of living options, including apartments, suites and single rooms, for a total of 1,135 beds. Student-centered amenities include two fitness centers, collaborative workspaces and outdoor courtyards.

Exterior of The Commons

The Refectory

A full-service restaurant and grill is now open at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan avenues. The Refectory, a partnership between Villanova University and Zavino Hospitality Group, provides a gathering space for students, faculty and staff, alumni, visitors and neighbors. The restaurant serves 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, is also open.

Interior image of people dining in The Refectory

Key Milestones:

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

Performing Arts Center

Scheduled to open in spring 2020, the Performing Arts Center will unite the University’s artistic community under one roof, enriching Villanova’s campus and enhancing opportunities across disciplines. It will serve as home to the Villanova Theatre program, as well as other music, performance and dance activities. The Center also 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
  • Spring 2020: PAC opens

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


In time for the fall 2019 semester, Mendel Field has reopened after two years of enhancements. 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. The work on Mendel Field was the latest phase of an ambitious project launched in 2011 to create a vehicle-free, pedestrian-friendly campus core.

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
  • Fall 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 was 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.