DeSales University, located in Center Valley, has planned a 10-year master plan to improve and enhance their campus.
Robert Synder, Vice President of Administration, Finance and Campus, and Rev. Bernard F. O'Conner, President of DeSales University, both were present during the Upper Saucon Supervisors meeting to present the plan.
The 10-year campus master plan expands DeSales to become more pedestrian friendly by moving the parking to the outer perimeter of the campus. It will also grow in size by purchasing available surrounding land if it becomes available.
DeSales Road will also be extended to accommodate for additional building expansion.
Snyder explained that there are three zones of the school: academic/administrative, residential and athletic.
The school's plan for the academic and administrative zone is to expand and enhance the space, complete the Gambet Center, renovate Dooling Hall, expand the Labuda Center, establish a permanent home for the Salesian Center, invest in technology and create an identity for programs. Creating a more attractive campus to students is important to the university to keep the kids on campus.
The plan will eventually allow for eight buildings for student housing but Snyder stated the school hopes to build two townhouse-style buildings to accommodate 120 students. Eventually, the school hopes to grow to 1,700 full time students.
In the residential zone, DeSales University hopes to create an adequate campus center, replacing the current McShea Student Center. Shooting for a higher resident population, the plan includes adding a resident home for upperclassmen and graduate students. High quality housing is anticipated to meet the goal of an 80% campus residence.
The athletic and recreation expansion includes new athletic turf fields, better seating for baseball and softball venues, a new track, expanding and renovating Billera Hall and adding a natatorium. The University has not had updates to their athletic area since 1997.
The supervisors suggested the University link their campus paths to the local rail trail. The community and students use both the rail trail and campus trails, which both the university and community enjoy.
While the 10-year plan finishes in 2022, phase one of the athletic plan will be implemented in the next few months as an architect team will meet with the university to figure out the spaces where the new elements will be added.