With another academic year comes another addition to the University of Dayton student body. They University of Dayton is a small, Catholic college in Southwest Ohio. It is estimated that there are now over 8,300 full-time undergraduates enrolled, significantly more than last year's all-time record of 7,918. University officials do not foresee a drop off in enrollment and are wasting no time thinking about where future students will stay.
Over the weekend, university president I. M. Rich announced a new addition to the current $17 million initiative to expand student housing.
"We are very pleased with the progress being made in the south student neighborhood," Rich said. "Building homes in this day and age seems to take no time at all and seeing this accelerated work has inspired us to think to the future of our student neighborhoods. Our next step will be to demolish the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception and construct additional homes on College Park."
The announcement comes weeks after the completion and rededication of the University of Dayton's iconic centerpiece.
"It had a good run," Rich said when asked why they wouldn't consider another, older building. "All good things must come to an end, and the renovated chapel has given us many memories over the past 30 or so days. We considered burning down St. Joe's Hall again, but there were concerns over sparks reaching the new turf on Baujan Field."
The chapel demolition will begin with an exclusive, invitation-only event Sunday, Sept. 27. Video of the demolition and photos will be available the next day on the chapel demolition website.
President Rich went on to mention plans beyond the immediate future for housing expansion, including converting Roesch library into a high-rise apartment complex and relocating Miami Valley Hospital to Montgomery County Fairgrounds in order to create a more cohesive north student neighborhood encompassing all of the Brown Street food district. Discussions for an affordable, 4-year housing plan for students where they would collectively reside in a 250-foot diameter pit have also begun. Details of this plan aren't expected to be completed until 2034, however, due to its complexity.