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Published: Tuesday, 10/22/2013 - Updated: 9 months ago

Lourdes holds ceremony for first phase of campus expansion

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
David J. Livingston, president of Lourdes University, explains project plans for the campus expansion during a ceremony at Brint and McCord roads. David J. Livingston, president of Lourdes University, explains project plans for the campus expansion during a ceremony at Brint and McCord roads.
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Lourdes University moved earth today, breaking ground on the mid-campus expansion project developing land that will connect student housing with the main campus.

Officials for the university, along with students, and the Sisters of St. Francis, attended a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony today Tuesday morning at the corner of Brint and McCord roads, the entrance to the 11.4 acres that is called mid-campus. The swath runs from Brint, where Lourdes Commons student apartments are, to Convent Boulevard, where the main campus is.

The mid-campus not only will provide a path for students and an admissions office, but later phases are to include an athletic building. Part of the university’s strategic plan to connect the main campus on Convent Boulevard to the resident Lourdes Commons apartments just off of McCord Road and provide home facilities for its growing sports programs, will be executed in phases.

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Lourdes President David Livingston told members of the community, faculty, and students who attended the ceremony that the first phase of the development, costing $2 million, includes installing a walking and biking trail, overhauling the grounds to make it into a “park-like” setting, and renovating a university-owned house on Convent Boulevard into an admissions house.

The sidewalk ties into a City of Sylvania project to install traffic signals and a crosswalk at Brint and McCord, which now has stop signs in each direction. Kevin Aller, city service director, said the project will help pedestrians and students, safely cross the roads.

The university’s expansion plan developed under former president Robert Helmer and board members was revealed in 2012. At that time, the plans showed an athletic building in the northern part of the property that will be used by the basketball teams and other sports teams as well as students. To the north of that, a two-story academic building was planned but is not shown on the plan released today by Lourdes.

Lourdes will prepare the ground for the expansion by relocating utility lines and electric poles, landscaping the area, and paving the pathway, to be completed by August. Two homes off of Convent Boulevard, owned by Lourdes, will be demolished to make room for the green space. Plans call for a parking lot near the southern part of the mid-campus, but that will come later, and for now it will be a sports field for students to use. 

At the Brint entrance to the mid-campus, a gateway arch, bearing the university’s name, will be installed.

The admissions house, located at 6737 Convent Blvd., is to be operating by February. It is to be a center welcoming prospective students and their families.

The mid-campus is surrounded by residents, some of whom On Brint, Just across the street from the entrance is a business plaza and the land, like the rest of the university, is surrounded by residential housing.

In 2012, when the plans were made public, some residents had expressed concern over noise and other disruptions from the proposed university expansion. the noise pollution and the college-town environment. Geoffrey Grubb, university provost, said officials have had meetings with people in the neighborhood about their plans.

“We want them to be informed, so we will be good neighbors to them,” he said.

This fall 2,343 students enrolled at the university.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.


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