Apparently one major construction project on campus wasn't enough to handle St. Ambrose's growth.
In late November, the university broke ground on a new residence hall, the third to be constructed or renovated in the past five years, that will be move-in ready at the start of the fall 2004 semester. The 140-bed facility will go a long way toward easing the strain on at-capacity residence halls and providing the upscale accommodations that attract and retain students.
With a nine-month construction period, "It will take a tremendous effort by the contractors and our university staff to get the building ready for students," says Stan Kabat, dean of students.
The additional residence hall will help enhance St. Ambrose's excellent reputation for the kind of high-quality student housing that had more than 88 percent of first-year students in 2003 requesting on-campus accommodations. Considering the increased competition for traditional-age students and the need to access those markets where the number of high school graduates is on the rise, particularly the Chicago area, "we have to have spaces for these students," says Jamie Loftus, vice president of enrollment management and student services.
At a cost of $5 million, the new co-ed hall will have double, suite-style rooms, with some single rooms for men, an option not currently available in existing halls. Bathrooms with showers will also be installed in each floor's lounge to accommodate short-term overflow housing as the need arises.
"The growth we're experiencing is a by-product of excellent recruiting and high student retention rates," says Loftus. "The faculty and staff who work so diligently on behalf of our students are the reason for our success."