Mercy Hall renovation calls for relocations


Maleigh Crespo & Sophia Maxim

Photo of list of offices in Mercy Hall crossed out. Mercy Hall will soon be gone to construct a new dorm hall.

Maleigh Crespo, Design Chief

Mercy Hall has a lot of clearing out to do before construction to turn the building into a residence hall can begin.

At the end of last semester, chief operating officer Carol Markowitz announced via email that the university would be renovating Mercy Hall to become a new dorm. Markowitz said the construction would begin in the summer and is expected to take approximately 2.5 years and be completed by fall 2025.

Currently, there are about a dozen administrative offices and programs housed in the building. These programs and offices will find new permanent or temporary homes in fall 2023 as the residence hall construction begins, according to Markowitz.

The Center for International Education, along with the Loyola Intensive English program, will be moving permanently to Founders Hall on the Broadway campus in the fall.

Sociology senior and program peer advisor Eva Knowles said she feels sad about the relocation.

The center aims to foster intercultural engagement and provide resources for studying abroad while building a sense of community for international students.

Knowles said that moving the center off the main campus makes it harder to connect with students.

Markowitz said the distance between campuses is short, but for increased accessibility, the university provides a shuttle service that she encourages students to utilize.

Business senior and program peer advisor Jodis Hegg said she’s not worried about not being on the main campus with the various virtual options available to students.

While the Center for International Education is moving permanently, other programs and offices will only be moving temporarily.

St. Mary’s Hall, which is located on the Broadway campus, is being completely renovated to house many programs and offices permanently. However, Markowitz said due to a delay in permit acquisition, the estimated completion date is unknown at this time.

Once the renovation is complete, however, the physical plant office and the counseling department, which also houses the play therapy center, will become permanent fixtures there.

Until then, the counseling department will temporarily move to Greenville Hall, which is also on the Broadway campus, and the physical plant offices will be dispersed across the two campuses, according to Markowitz.

Human resources will be permanently moved to the fourth floor of Thomas Hall after modifications are made over the summer, Markowitz said.

The Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice, which is housed in the Jesuit Social Research Institute, will permanently move to the ground floor of Stallings Hall. Upward Bound, along with the Whelan Childcare Center, will also move to the first floor of Stallings Hall.

Markowitz said the relocation decisions were made from an operational standpoint with the university’s needs in mind.

“I’m just excited for the real reason we’re doing all this,” she said. “Which is to build that new residence hall.”

The additional residential space will not only provide more housing opportunities for students, but it will also allow for the existing residence halls to be renovated.

Once construction in Mercy Hall is complete, students will live there primarily while the other residence buildings are taken offline for a full year to be refurbished, according to Markowitz.

“Construction is never completely pleasant, nor is it beautiful to look at,” she said. “But I’m hoping that we get through it as quickly and efficiently as possible and that we’ll be happy with the results once we get through it.”