Proposed Site Plan: The project includes the Performing Arts Center (front) and parking garage (rear) on East Main Lot, residence halls with ground floor University owned and operated retail on West Main Lot, a pedestrian bridge at Church Walk, and enhanced surface parking around Moriarty, Griffin and Geraghty Halls. The project will also feature the addition of two levels to the existing St. Augustine Center parking garage on main campus.
Aerial: The proposed residence halls are designed in the Collegiate Gothic style that is prevalent throughout campus. The halls follow the curve of Route 30/Lancaster Avenue to provide a continual view of the central landmark of campus: the St. Thomas of Villanova Church.
Facades Along Lancaster Avenue: The residence halls will provide approximately 1,135 beds for junior and senior students, allowing the University to house 85% of its undergraduate populations. As with similar projects in the past on South and West Campuses, this project would not lead to an increase in undergraduate student enrollment.
Pedestrian Overpass: A pedestrian bridge over Lancaster Avenue will be constructed at Church Walk. With 70% of classrooms located on the western part of main campus, this overpass is well-situated to attract significant use from students on South Campus, the new residence halls and the enhanced surface parking, as well as visitors and St. Thomas of Villanova Church parishioners.
Lancaster Avenue Looking West: The ground floors of the residence halls will feature University owned and operated, student-focused retail to include a VIllanova apparel shop, convenience store and bistro, as well as a fitness center and collaborative work and study space.
Performing Arts Center: The Performing Arts Center would be located in front of the new parking garage at the southeast corner of Ithan Avenue and Route 30/Lancaster Avenue. It will feature academic and performance space to support theatre, studio arts and music activities programs on campus
Quad Walkway: The proposed residence halls would feature a series of outside courtyards connected by a walkway. The buildings would be designed to maximize the natural light in these open spaces.
Setback Illustration: Residence Hall setback from Lancaster Ave is minimum of 45 feet and will be greater in many areas. Proposed setback elements include a fence, trees, plantings and a wide sidewalk.
Courtyard View Looking East: The design concept features two large courtyards facing Lancaster Avenue that break up the streetscape and provide outdoor gathering spots for students. Along with two smaller courtyards facing SEPTA's Norristown High Speed rail line, these green spaces help to limit impervious surface and feature rain gardens and other measures that assist with stormwater management.
Transforming the Landscape Along Lancaster Avenue
Transforming the Villanova campus along Lancaster Avenue is a process that maps back to the implementation of the Villanova University Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan. This project will:
- Address growing desire among undergraduate students for additional opportunities to live on campus.
- Position Villanova University more competitively among its peer institutions and increase student and parent satisfaction.
- Significantly reduce student and vehicle presence in residential neighborhoods.
- Decrease traffic to and from campus.
- Improve parking on campus, as well as traffic flow around campus.
- Greatly improve the attractiveness of the visual landscape on Lancaster Avenue.
- Provide environmental benefits that include LEED-certified buildings, green space and plantings, as well as innovative measures to significantly improve stormwater management on and around the project site.
This initiative includes the following elements:
Villanova will turn the nondescript parking lots along Lancaster Avenue into premier living spaces. The Collegiate Gothic-style residential housing will be complemented by University-operated and student-centric retail, including a new Villanova apparel shop, bistro and convenience store, as well as a mailroom and fitness center. These residence halls would accommodate roughly 1,135 upper class undergraduate students, and will enable the University to provide on campus housing for approximately 85% of its undergraduate students.
Performing Arts Center
The Performing Arts Center will bring together Villanova’s artistic community under one roof, supporting the studio arts and music activities programs in addition to Villanova Theatre. The facility will feature two performance spaces – a 400 -seat proscenium style theatre and a 200- seat black box theatre. It will also include classroom and rehearsal space, dance and art studios, a scenery shop and offices.
Parking and Traffic Flow Enhancements
The work to transform Villanova’s campus along Lancaster Avenue will be parking neutral—neither adding nor decreasing the amount of parking spaces—but it will allow the University to improve parking locations and allow for more efficient traffic flow around campus. Through this project, two levels will be added to the existing St. Augustine Center parking garage, a new surface parking lot will be created around Moriarty, Griffin and Geraghty Halls, and a new parking garage with the capacity to hold approximately 1,300 vehicles will be constructed on the rear portion of East Main Lot. As the project progresses, there will be a series of traffic improvements along Lancaster Avenue from Ithan Avenue to the intersection of Route 320/Spring Mill Road, including coordinated traffic signals, designated turn lanes and a decreased number of individual driveways with cars entering and exiting. The University is also working to develop additional plans to proactively address traffic and parking, especially at major events on campus.
With 70% of classrooms located on the western part of main campus, a pedestrian bridge at Church Walk will attract significant use from students on South Campus, the new residence halls and the surface parking lot being created behind Moriarty, Griffin and Geraghty Halls, as well as visitors to campus and St. Thomas of Villanova Church parishioners.