What is the timeline for the Murphy Hall Renovation?

Murphy Hall is expected to close after the Spring 2013 semester.   Renovations are anticipated to begin after Commencement and continue through the 2013-2014 academic year.   Murphy Hall would be expected to re-open in August of 2014.

Why renovate Murphy Hall?

Murphy Hall was opened in 1964 and most of the building still contains the original fixtures, furnishings and materials.   As a result, Murphy Hall was selected for renovations, which would help create a residence hall that is fully accessible and more conducive to the needs of current and future students.

The planning for this project is part of our overall campus facilities efforts.  Improvements are made to the residence halls and other buildings on an on-going basis (i.e. Summer 2012 projects like new furniture project in Millor Hall, the updated entry-way to the Atrium, and the maintenance on Grasselli Tower to name a few).

What would the new Murphy Hall look like?

The focus of the Murphy Hall renovation would be on the interior.  The plans completely re-design the space to provide multiple living options for students, including triple and quad suites, singles, and larger double rooms.   The renovation would also create more study and social gathering space for students, increase kitchen availability, provide sinks in all student rooms/suites, and allow for more private bathroom facilities.   The renovated Murphy would also be fully accessible (including elevators), and we are aiming to qualify for LEED certification.   Because of its significance to the history of the building and the John Carroll community, the plans preserve the Murphy Hall Chapel and are designed to be more accessible to the campus.  The exterior of the building would not look materially different as the outer structure will essentially remain intact (with the exception of new windows and similar, basic enhancements).

Murphy Hall currently houses first year students.   Who would live in the renovated Murphy Hall?

Current plans call for Murphy Hall to house sophomores, juniors, and seniors after the renovation.   This would be dependent on the student population and the housing needs each academic year.

Murphy Hall is the largest residence hall on campus.   When it is under construction, where would students live?

John Carroll University will continue to maintain it two year residency requirement for first and second year students.  More details about on-campus housing for first and second year students during the renovation are expected to be available in the coming months.   We anticipate there will be space available for juniors and seniors in the remaining residence halls.   These spaces would be available during the typical housing selection process in early March 2013.

We also recognize that some students may choose to move off-campus.  In order to assist in this process, the Office of Residence Life, in collaboration with the Dean of Students and the Office of Government and Community Relations, plan to offer educational sessions and resources.   Sessions would be about being a good neighbor, tenant rights, and responsible citizenship rights and responsibilities.  Additionally, enhanced resources about local landlords and rental properties would also be provided.   We plan to share more information with students and the campus community in the coming months as more details become available.

How does the University plan to fund this renovation project?

Current market conditions allow us to consider multiple favorable funding/financing opportunities for this project, all of which are currently being investigated and evaluated.

How would the renovation impact the appearance of the neighborhood?

Because the focus of the Murphy renovation is on the interior space, this project would have little impact on the “look and feel” of the neighborhood by Washington Blvd. The renovation is expected to help enhance the local economy by bringing in additional tax revenue as well as patronage of local business during the construction process.

How does this affect issues of sustainability on campus?

In our efforts to think more sustainably as an institution–particularly through our campus Sustainability Committee–we anticipate this would be our first LEED-certified building.  This is not guaranteed and the level of possible LEED certification would depend on the final, approved architectural plans.  We are approaching this project with a long-term sustainability outlook so we can make thoughtful, economical decisions on all aspects of the project—including construction, energy use and future maintenance costs.