The University of Dayton is investing $10 million in the heart of campus with the summer renovation of its oldest dorm, Founders Hall.
Construction of GE Aviation’s new $51 million EPISCENTER on UD’s campus, which will bring new jobs to Dayton, will also wrap this summer and multi-million updates to the university’s library and Science Center will continue. Summer construction, not including the GE project, will total about $30 million, said Beth Keyes, vice president for the school’s facilities management.
“We have been working the last few years with renovations to address our deferred maintenance as well as new programs,” Keyes said.
Founders Hall, which was built in 1954 and houses about 400 freshmen, is getting air conditioning, updated restrooms and a new lobby, mechanicals, landscaping and flooring, according to UD. Work has already begun and will be completed by the time students return for the new school year beginning Aug. 16. It is part of a decade-long campaign to improve student dorms and houses.
“That will be the end of the residence works. Everything will be equal in terms of amenities,” Keyes said.
In the last 10 years, the university has invested more than $125 million to construct student houses, Marianist Hall and ArtStreet and Caldwell Street Apartments. UD also poured about $42.5 million to renovate Marycrest, Stuart, Virginia W. Kettering and the Campus South apartments, according to the university.
This summer, renovations also continue at the Roesch Library and Science Center. The library project totals $12 million to update the building’s outer façade, infrastructure, windows and equipment. And, $20 million at the Science Center is providing new windows, air conditioning, ceilings, lighting, a roof screen, classroom and laboratory updates and a new high-tech science lab.
New programs will also come to the College Park Center. The music and theater program will relocate there from two buildings on campus and facilities will be added for the new physician assistant master’s degree, Keyes said. UD’s Department of Advancement will leave the building and move to the 1700 South Patterson Building. Midmark Corporation will also move into the 1700 building.
UD also plans to extend the bikeway through campus to link to the student neighborhoods.
“It’s going to be a typical busy summer here,” Keyes said.
Work will wrap in July on the EPISCENTER, and equipment and staff will move. A formal opening will be held in the fall, according to UD. The center is expected to employ 50 people initially and 150 to 200 researches within five years, according to UD.
The projects promise to be important for the region.
“UD is a significant economic development player in Dayton and a catalyst for development and growth in the southern corridor,” said Chris Kershner, vice president for public policy and economic development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
“GE Aviation’s investment in Dayton highlights a unique partnership that includes private and public investment, higher education and defense research and development,” Kershner said. “GE Aviation has already been a great partner with the business community and we are excited to grow with them as a community.”
The GE project is being done by Shook Construction. Other summer work on campus is being led by local firms Miller-Valentine Group, Ferguson Construction and Danis Building Construction.
The university last April also invested $1 million in a project to reinforce the floors of 302 student houses after the floors of two student houses sank during large gatherings at the homes in January.