By Fall 2014, the Manresa Program could find itself in a new home. The program began in Tierney in 2007 before moving to Martys’ Court Jogues a few years later. Now, if everything goes according to schedule, the community could have a new home in Loyola Hall.
Loyola, a building formerly used to house retired Jesuits, is in the process of transforming into a residential space, according to Marco Valera, vice president of Facilities. Right now, the goal is to have it open just before the Fall 2014 semester.
“We’ll have less than nine months of actual construction time,” Valera said.
Valera said his team has finalized its plans for the building and can now begin the construction process now. The second, third, fourth and fifth floors of the building are scheduled to be residential rooms.
“These will be very generous, very large rooms for us,” Valera said.
The rooms will consist of both designed doubles and triples for student use. Also, as of now, both Valera and Rev. Phil Florio, S.J., assistant vice president of Campus Ministry, believe this is where the Manresa Program will have its new home.
The details of the program’s transition to Loyola are not set in stone yet, but from what Florio has heard, the transition seems to be a good fit for Manresa.
“I know very little about us moving,” Florio said, “other than that the plan is for us to move and the facility will be very up-to-date and very attractive.”
Valera believes the design will fit that mold.
“On the ground floor, there will be very generous lounges,” Valera said. “The old chapel will be retained and the rest of the space on the east wing [will have a] very generous study lounge, probably one of our largest lounges. There will be a social lounge as well, which will have a small kitchen to warm up food, and a TV.”
The newly renovated Loyola will also include laundry facilities on the ground floor, new offices for resident assistants and directors as well as new restrooms.
As a part of the Manresa Program, the building will also include classrooms accessible from both the inside and outside of Loyola.
Valera said that the ground level will not be completed until after students move in, as finishing the rooms is the first priority.
“[Fall 2014] is our target,” Valera said. “There is the possibility that it won’t be finished until later, after we open, so we may have some immediate relocations because of all the changes that have to occur.”
This means students may stay somewhere different for the first few weeks as the building is finished. New York City building regulations require certain modifications to the building, which was originally constructed in 1928. This includes new fire alarm systems and an ADA-accessible elevator.
Besides the renovations to Loyola Hall, Facilities is also finishing its construction on Faber. The interior renovations are expected to be completed by March. According to Valera, on the first floor there will be an event space that can hold up to 160 people and has dining facilities built in as well.
As for the exterior, Valera says Facilities will continue renovating for a little longer, as they are creating a patio outside with a ramp that leads to entrances both in Loyola and Faber so the buildings will be wheelchair accessible. He believes in the future there will be more renovations done to the building, but none of those plans are finalized.
Another residential hall, Walsh, is also at the start of a multi-year renovation plan. Right now, Valera said they are working to replace all the windows, add air conditioning and eventually redo all of the rooms.
Finally, Valera said that Fordham Athletics will also be getting a face-lift this coming summer with a returfing scheduled for Jack Coffey Field, which was “at the end of its life.” He said it should be ready in time for football season.