The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Construction on McCartney Street Phase II project to commence soon

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Construction for the new residential building is set to be finished by fall 2024.

As student housing continues to be a persistent issue for Lafayette, construction on a second residence hall on McCartney Street, facing McKeen and Gates Halls, is scheduled to make progress soon. The new dorm is set to open in fall 2024.

The first phase of the McCartney Street housing project involved building McCartney North and McCartney South, two housing complexes along High Street and March Street that were opened for student residency in Aug. 2020. However, the second phase, which extends along McCartney Street to Clinton Terrace, is still in the development phase, with construction slated to begin in February 2023.

Lafayette’s Associate Vice President Craig Becker and Executive Director of Facilities Operations Scott Kennedy wrote jointly in an email that the residential halls were created in response to the growth plan that has since been paused.

“In February 2016, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to expand the college’s enrollment,” Becker and Kennedy wrote. “As a residential college, the expansion called for additional residential space. The original plan called for three phases, with 233 McCartney being the first phase.”

They also wrote that it was more practical for the apartments near March and High Streets to be done before the building near Clinton Terrace. They explained that McCartney Street Phase II would be completed in time for the fall 2024 semester, and by the end of the 2022-23 school year, it would be about 20% complete. 

The eventual new 90,000 square foot building will include residential units on the upper floors, housing approximately 160 students. The college is also in the process of considering different retail options for the ground floor, a process that will involve soliciting feedback from the Lafayette community, according to President Nicole Hurd.

Becker and Kennedy also wrote that they did not expect construction to cause students to lose sleep late at night or significantly disturb activities in nearby buildings, such as Hillel House or McKeen Hall. They wrote, however, that the nearby streets would be blocked for cars “when heavy equipment is brought in or when deliveries are made” during construction.

President of the college’s Hillel Club and a resident of Hillel House Lisa Green ’24 said that she wasn’t too worried about the construction’s impact on Hillel activities.

“I guess I’d have to see it to find out,” Green said. “There’s been construction there before, and I feel like it hasn’t disrupted too much. I feel like sometimes … it’s minorly inconvenient. You got to jump over a construction area, or something, I’ve seen that, [but] yeah, nothing too crazy.”

Green said that she thinks the addition of residential dorms is definitely positive, although she acknowledged that the loss of a parking lot so close would be disappointing.

“I’ll definitely miss the parking lot,” Green said. “I didn’t have a convenient parking space last year like I do now. It was nice to park there sometimes. But I’ve heard so many reports about there being more first years than rooms for them, so I think that will definitely be helpful. And I think there’ll be fewer triples, which I’ve heard that’s really hard [to share a room with two other people], so I think overall, it’s a good thing.”

The parking deck where the housing complex will be built has been closed off in preparation for work on the site. The cost of the project will not be available, per Becker and Kennedy, until later this year, when it will go up for construction contract bidding.

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Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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