Two construction projects will be springing up on campus in 2020: a redesign of 24th Street and the building of a new suite-style residence hall north of McGloin.
The projects were unveiled during the Founders Day Convocation by Creighton President, the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J.
Preliminary work will begin on 24th Street in April, Hendrickson said, with the bulk of the construction beginning after graduation to be done by fall move-in.
Construction of the residence hall, once approved by the Board of Trustees in May, will begin in the summer of 2020 with completion by fall of 2022, said Tanya Winegard, vice provost for student life.
“Part of the history and the importance of 24th Street is that it is one of the connections which connects the south side of Omaha with the north side of Omaha,” Hendrickson said.
The redesign of 24th Street will have one lane traveling each way with a turning lane in the middle and a bike lane going each direction. There also will be Omaha Rapid Bus Transit platforms on each side of the street.
“I’m dreaming of a way to maintain the vital connection for the community but also create a sense of hospitality,” Hendrickson said.
The changes are meant to slow down traffic, be more accommodating to bikes and pedestrians and beautify the campus, Hendrickson said.
He described it as a boulevard that would run through campus with trees and flowerbeds in the center, as well as decorative pedestals resembling campus architecture and Creighton Hall.
A four-exit roundabout will be added on 24th Street at the intersection with Cass Street and Wareham Parkway.
Uber and Lyft pickups, drop offs and food deliveries will be made at the visitor parking lot on the east side of 24th Street.
This change will lead to significantly less access to Deglman Circle, Hendrickson said.
“It would divert a lot of traffic away from that busy pedestrian area,” said John Darwin, special assistant to the president.
The University is working with the Office of the Mayor and the City of Omaha Planning, Public Works and Finance departments on the street closure and construction.
Hendrickson said that one lane going each direction on 24th Street would be open during construction.
“The inconvenience part is when and how the construction for the Deglman Circle crossing happens,” Hendrickson said. “We’ll have to accommodate for students.”
Hendrickson said all construction is weather dependent.
The second project to be started this summer is the building of a new residence hall on the lot behind McGloin, where the parking lot is currently located. The building will be programmed as a freshman hall serving 400 students with suite-style rooms, Hendrickson said.
“Creighton’s existing freshmen residence halls were in need of significant renovation,” Winegard said.
When it opens in 2022, the residence hall will be staffed with a full-time resident director, a hall chaplain and student staff, including an assistant resident director and resident assistants, Winegard said.
“Student Life is excited for the opportunities that will come with this new resi- dence hall,” Winegard said. “Our focus will be on community building and supporting students as they find their home away from home at Creighton.”
Hendrickson said the University is also looking at options to replace the student parking that would be lost by building on the McGloin lot. He said the two options are tearing down the storage sheds along Burt Street to use that space for parking or making all of the 24th Street parking garage available to students.