Austin under construction

Elisabeth Roche

The construction currently underway on Austin Hall is expected to be completed by mid-October.

One of the main objectives of this project is not solely improving the Office of University Admission, but the visiting experience as a whole.

Visitors are invited to park in a designated parking area, which is located next to Moriarty Hall, across from the church.

This encourages families to walk along the pathway up to the St. Thomas of Villanova Church and then follow the road past the cemetery on their way to Austin.

“It’s our desire to continue to impress prospective students and their families so that they will consider Villanova when applying to college,” Dean of Enrollment Management Stephen Merritt said. “The competition is pretty tough. When you compete with some of the best schools in the country, you have to make it a great experience at every step along the way.”

As families approach the Office of University Admission, they will be welcomed and start their tours in a plaza facing Lancaster Avenue.

Inside of the newly renovated building, there will be a “welcome wall” which will greet visitors in different languages. The University seal will hang above a new reception desk.

The renovations are expected to create a new flow to the tour process, where visitors will check in at the front entrance, be escorted to the University’s video presentation in the viewing room and proceed to the area which currently holds the main entrance.

Tours will begin from this location and head out of the side door towards Dougherty Hall.

Senior Will Cullen, president of the Blue Key Society, says that the renovations will help facilitate large groups on busy tour days.

“I think this will create a much more welcoming atmosphere for our prospective students,” Cullen said.

This will hopefully relieve some of the congestion as people come in and out of the same passageway.

“We already have great attendance at our tours,” Cullen said. “I don’t know if prospective students go home to their friends and say, ‘You should check out Villanova because they have an awesome admissions office.’ But aesthetics are always a bonus and can certainly add to the overall experience, along with the tour and personal interactions with students. That is what prospective students will tell their friends about. That is what will bring more people to Villanova.”

The new construction adds yet another way to impress visitors.

“Prospective students have always been impressed with the facilities, but more importantly they have been impressed with the people, the members of Blue Key and Ambassadors and the stories they have told about the university,” Merritt said. “And the renovations to Austin are a way of better telling that story.”

No current admissions offices or residence halls will be moved because of the renovations. The plaza outside of the building will include benches as a gathering area for both students and visitors.