By Grace Welsh-
On Oct. 28, the University of Louisville’s athletics department announced a plan for a new residence hall project, partially catering to U of L student-athletes.
The housing project will cost approximately $23.5 million, with $3.5 million donated from the U of L Athletics program. Because of this, Cardinal Athletics reserves naming rights for the residence hall, and in accordance with NCAA guidelines, it will reserve no more than 63 of 128 beds for student athletes, their managers and assistants.
The athletic hall, located across from Floyd Street, will be connected to the Planet Fitness Kueber Center via a skywalk. The dorm is being developed by Buffalo Construction and Larry Gough, developer of Cardinal Towne, and will house men’s and women’s basketball players, women’s lacrosse players and university students who are not athletes.
The hall will have a distinctive, first-class look. “It will be a trophy facility that exudes progress on campus as much as in athletics,” Vince Tyra, director of athletics, said.
Its goal is to add aesthetic value to the surrounding area and attract “top-level students and student-athletes alike.”
U of L students have differing opinions on the announcement of the new project. Although some are positive, others are critical of the university’s decision.
Maranda Crittendon, a junior majoring in equine business, feels strongly about the subject saying the money could have been used elsewhere.
“It’s obscene that they’re building that instead of doing actual improvements on mold-infested Threlkeld and Miller, not to mention the horrible situation that is parking,” Crittendon said.
Freshman business major Connor Ford, echoed a similar sentiment. Ford said the total occupancy number doesn’t make the multi-million dollar price tag worth it.
“I don’t know why they’re spending that much money on a dorm that’s only gonna house maybe 100+ kids,” he said. “It just doesn’t add up. Some of the older dorms are not in the best condition and they should have some priority, too.”
On the other hand, some students see the project in a more positive light.
Saidey Fahey, a sophomore criminal justice major, said that the athletes deserve the new housing opportunity because of the money that they bring into the school.
Fahey argues that athletes “don’t get to do a lot of what a normal college student does,” with the pressure of maintaining good grades, good public image, practicing and working out for the sake of their department.
“At the end of day, they just want to sleep in a comfy bed, somewhere they feel safe and comfortable,” Fahey said.
Senior computer information systems Phillip Wellmann said “it’s a good decision as it gives athletes a space to live with one another on a set schedule.”
He noted the convenience of the practice facilities being so close, saying it will give students an opportunity to hold one another accountable academically and training wise.
“On top of this,” Wellmann said. “It gives SPAD majors a place of work and hands on applications in their field of study.”
The residence hall, yet to be named, is predicted to be completed by the fall semester of 2022.
Photo Courtesy of U of L Athletics