Saint Mary’s undergoing $2.5 million-dollar, campus-wide renovation
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Saint Mary’s is spending more than $2.5 million upgrading its campus this summer, the College announced in a Wednesday press release.
Renovations began at the end of last semester and have continued throughout the summer months, vice president for strategy and finance Dana Strait said in the release.
“We are thankful to have a healthy endowment and a budget to support our campus’ rich history, maintain our high standards for students and fulfill our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability,” she said in the release.
In progress are updates to the Noble Family Dining Hall and retail dining funded by Sodexo, including Cyber Café’s rebranding to the 1844 Grill; cosmetic changes to the Cushwa-Leighton Library and the addition of a 24-hour study space and a Starbucks bar; renovations to Holy Cross Hall and the first floors of McCandless and LeMans Halls; the installation of more accessibility ramps; retouching to sidewalks and parking lots; and various other foundational repairs to buildings across campus.
Strait said additional renovations were made to help Saint Mary’s curb its energy consumption.
“From choosing energy-efficient lighting and window materials to the installation of energy-monitoring meters, the campus is looking to enhance its resources in every possible way,” she said in the release. “The bonus will be seeing students’ reactions as they return from summer break to the beautiful Saint Mary’s campus. These enhancements take us to the next level.”
According to the release, this summer’s upgrades mark the start of a much larger renovation project. Saint Mary’s hopes to secure a $51 million bond for the endeavor, which must first be approved by the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners. The Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees approved a plan for the additional renovations in June, which will include campus beautification and improvements to buildings’ energy efficiency, health and safety.
Strait said the College expects to hear from the Board of Commissioners by the end of August. If the bond is approved, the board and other administration officials will move forward in finalizing the renovation plan, she said. Input from the Saint Mary’s community will be also be taken into consideration during this time.