Press Release - September 13, 2023
Loyola University Chicago Nears Completion of Summer Construction Projects
Upgraded stormwater drainage system to provide additional capacity for local community
CHICAGO – September 13, 2023
Loyola University Chicago is nearing completion of a $20.7 million portfolio of construction projects this summer to improve, modernize, and beautify the Lake Shore Campus. Multiple buildings, including the architecturally significant Information Commons, have been fully refreshed to improve the experience of students, faculty, and staff. The historic Dumbach Hall and Mundelein Center have also received façade work to prolong their life and promote energy efficiency.
Among the most important projects is a $10 million effort to upgrade the stormwater drainage system through the campus. As part of a larger, multi-phased initiative to improve stormwater management, Loyola is working to reduce the likelihood of future flooding events throughout campus and divert stormwater runoff from city sewers, and from carrying pollutants into Lake Michigan.
In 2005, 95.6 percent of Loyola’s property on the Lake Shore Campus drained to city sewers. Through investment in building and landscape projects, green roofs, permeable pavers, and stormwater detention vaults, outfalls, and dedicated management projects, only 38.4 percent of Loyola’s property now drains to city sewers. The result of these initiatives, totaling $45 million over nearly two decades, is a 57.2 percent or–10,988,000 gallon–reduction in drainage to city sewers.
With a record number of Chicagoans reporting flooded basements in July, Loyola’s annual diversion of water from city sewers will support neighboring businesses and residents in the community surrounding Loyola’s campus with significantly increased capacity. When complete, the annual reduction of stormwater discharge would fill Cloud Gate more than 17 times–or connect Chicago to Houston via one-gallon water jugs.
This initiative reinforces Loyola’s longstanding commitment to serving as one of only 33 universities in the country recognized as an Anchor Institution. The University strategically dedicates resources to improving quality of life for residents of communities within the neighborhoods that host our campuses including affordable housing set-asides in market rate rental buildings, local hiring, local spending, and K-12 school partnerships. The University has partnership agreements with 867 Chicago nonprofits–and strives to make an impact in each of these. Loyola’s partnership with Senn High School, for example, has helped to increase Senn’s graduation rate by 20 percent.
It also builds on the University’s leadership in confronting storm events and climate change. Following a 2013 weather pattern that severely impacted the Health Sciences Campus and Loyola University Medical Center, Loyola commenced a stormwater mitigation system project that has eliminated any further flooding events in the ensuing years. Kana Henning, senior associate vice president for facilities, hopes that the Lake Shore Campus project will deliver similar results. “As we continue to see new and challenging conditions resulting from climate change, it continues to be a top priority for Loyola to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff by maintaining the integrity of our campus facilities. Equally important to us is the ability to serve as a leader in our local communities by supporting our neighbors wherever possible.”
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 17,500 students. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens), and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago.