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USJ Renovations 2019-2020

From May 2019 - Sept. 2020, the University of Saint Joseph is investing approximately $30 million in renovations on campus. Our goal is to create a more vibrant and engaging campus life with learning opportunities, academic and health and wellness programs with services and facilities that meet the diverse needs of the University’s students today and well into the future.


Beginning next month we will see improvements that include entirely renovating the interior of the first floor of McGovern Hall. As McGovern Hall will be closed, a temporary Dining Hall Commons will be constructed for use by the entire USJ community. Additional renovation plans are under review for a new turf field and an addition to The O’Connell Athletic Center.


We will keep you informed and updated on progress of the renovations. Please review the Q&A below and send any questions you have to [email protected]. We will respond to you directly and include more information about topics of interest in future communications.


Thank you,

President Rhona Free




Q: Why did the University decide to invest in these projects now, and is student tuition paying for these projects?
A: To stay competitive and meet evolving needs of our students and community, USJ has continuously updated the campus infrastructure, facilities, and resources. Funds for the projects come from private donations, vendor and CHEFA-supported bank financing. As enrollment increases, these projects will meet the need for larger, and more accessible and accommodating spaces for the USJ community to participate in campus programs. Once complete, the USJ community will benefit from expanded services and facilities to meet the diverse needs of the University’s students today and well into the future.


Q: Why isn’t the University putting these funds into improving academic facilities and upgrading labs, technology, and other resources for our students?
A: In the last three years, the University has invested in academic facilities and resources, including:
renovation of Lourdes Hall for the Physician Assistant Studies Program; renovation to the Nutrition Lab; a new dance studio; renovation and expansion of the Center for Academic Excellence; a new Office of Career Development; a high-tech collaboration room in the library; new offices for the Registrar and Bursar; and a new student lounge with group study rooms in McDonough. These improvements were funded with a combination of university capital funds and grants and donations. Student surveys and focus group meetings highlighted the need for USJ upgrade student life, recreation, and athletic facilities in order to continue to achieve enrollment and retention goals.


Q: Which facilities will be affected?
A: There will be construction in and around McGovern Hall and plans for The O’Connell Athletic Center are under review. Other facilities will be affected as they will temporarily offer services currently located in construction zones.
McGovern Hall


Q: Where will all food services, including the cafeteria and Jay’s Nest, be located on campus during the McGovern Hall renovation?
A: A temporary Dining Hall Commons will be installed on campus. The specific location is under review.


Q: Where will students be able to have activities and meet instead of the Student Lounge?
A: Events and activities will be spread across existing campus facilities to include, but not be limited to the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts, The O’Connell Athletic Center, the Mercy Hall Crystal Room and the temporary Dining Hall Commons.


Q: Where will Public Safety be located during construction? A: Public Safety will permanently move from McGovern Hall to McDonough Hall, Lower Level to be more centrally located and have space to accommodate public safety resources and services.


Q: Where will the bookstore be located?
A: During McGovern Hall renovations, the USJ bookstore will be located in McDonough Hall on the first floor.


Q: Where will the ATM on campus be located?


Q: Where will the Student Affairs office and staff be located?
A: Lourdes Hall and Lynch Hall. Once office space is final, an updated directory of staff will be circulated.


Q: Will we still be able to park in the back and on the side of McGovern Hall?
A: The area behind McGovern Hall will become part of the construction zone; no parking spaces will be available back there. The side lot (between McGovern Hall and Madonna Residence Hall) is for residential students only.


Q: How long will the construction take?
A: The construction is planned from May 2019 – Jan. 2020. The University will provide updates – stay tuned.