Marquette University announced its plans to expand its new residence halls Thursday to include another 140 beds.
School officials said by adding two stories to the west tower the new residence hall it will bring the total number of beds to 890. The project will cost $108 million, which the Board of Trustees approved.
In doing so, the university would have the option to close O’Donnell Hall, a first-year residence hall that is more than 60 years old.
“We examined the occupancy rates of our existing housing stock and our enrollment projections over the next few years, and we determined that the most cost-effective and timely way for us to add needed beds, as identified in our master plan, was to add two floors to this project,” said Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and strategy, in a statement. “We have no immediate plans to raze O’Donnell, so we still have the flexibility to reopen it should enrollment exceed capacity.”
Marquette had announced last month that alumni Ray and Kay Eckstein offered a $10 million challenge towards the new residence hall facility, which will be named after longtime Marquette President Rev. Robert A. Wild.
The Board of Trustees also passed a $5 million expenditure for infrastructure updates, including pipes under the West Wells Street by the new residence hall and the deteriorated fiber optic cables in McCormick Hall.
“To do these infrastructure updates in concert with the construction of the residence hall is far more cost efficient,” Strigens said in a statement. “Ultimately, it will save the university money by only excavating once.”
Strigens said the construction timeline has not been changes, and the school expects the hall to be open for students at the start of the 2018 fall semester.
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