University President Jeffrey F. Bullock today announced a gift of $13.5 million from Trustee Joe and Linda Chlapaty to fund Phase I of new campus student housing and an indoor practice/intramural facility.
"On behalf of our entire University community - students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni - I want to again express our appreciation to Joe and Linda Chlapaty for their love and commitment to the University of Dubuque," said President Bullock. "Every college that has been able to make the solid progress in every way as UD has over the last decade has had a donor or donors whose passion for the school knew no bounds. Our work in this era has been richly blessed - we give voice to this in the litany we use for groundbreakings and building dedications that focuses our community on our knowledge that, `unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain.' We have been doubly blessed with Joe and Linda Chlapaty's zeal for this place."
As the University's undergraduate enrollment has grown to over 1600 students over the past decade, the need for additional student housing has become acute. Currently, only approximately 40% of our students live in on-campus housing, the majority of whom are first-year students with decreasing numbers of sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
After a year's study, in 2010 the University Board of Trustees received a report recommending that three additional residence halls be built on the west side of the South Campus at a site proximate to University Park Village. Together these suite-style, geothermally heated and cooled residences would house 494 students, and could be constructed simultaneously or as single buildings.
Phase I of this significant project would involve site preparation and the development of the infrastructure for the entire project and the construction of one residence that will house 158 students. All of these units are multipurpose and can be divided into pods to meet future housing needs as they develop. The plans for these buildings have been completed. Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2013 and be ready for student occupancy in fall 2014.
This project completes the residential development of the South Campus joining University Park Village and Seminary Village to form a on-campus community reminiscent of a hillside village in Italy.
"We believe that a great deal of important learning happens outside the classroom," commented Linda Chlapaty. "This seems to us to be particularly true of the potential for formational education that occurs in the living-learning environment of residence halls. As with all of the residential facilities that have been built during the last decade, Joe and I believe that these new student homes will be a place that our students will want to live as well as places where the values that the University holds dear can be lived and taught. We feel honored that we have been blessed with the resources to take the first step in this project that we believe is so important to UD."
Since its dedication in 2009, the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC), along with the Charles C. Myers Library, has become the most widely used facility on campus. The building operates from 5:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. on most days during the academic year and is open year-round on condensed hours during the entire calendar year. Currently, the 1200 UD students who participate in intramurals and the 700 students cleared to participate in intercollegiate athletics share this facility with students from NICC, UD ROTC, faculty and staff, as well as select agencies and community groups.
Recreation and practice space is at a premium. This new, cost-effective facility will provide the space to accommodate this level of participation (180 ft. x 210 ft.) and provide an effective solution (artificial turf) to minimize the wear and tear on the CRWC indoor surface from activities that the surface was not designed to support.
Potterveld student residential apartments built in the 1960s will be razed and the intramural/practice facility will be built on the site.