The University of Dallas has seen continued growth in its freshman classes over the past few years, a progression that is often seen as encouraging.
However, the growing number of students also creates challenges for UD and its infrastructure.
As new buildings are being erected on the Irving campus, reflecting the need for more updated spaces, the Due Santi campus in Rome has thus far gone widely untouched.
With the growth of the student body and the continued popularity of the Rome Program, the growing inability of the Rome campus to house enough students has become abundantly clear.
The potential inability for students to study in Rome due to a lack of space creates a barrier to the integrated Core curriculum, which, in many ways, is meant to culminate in Rome.
“As the Freshman class grows — which, as a university, we hope continues to happen — then we must also grow the Rome program,” Special Projects Advancement Officer Vallery Bergez said.
“If it doesn’t grow, then we risk turning away perfectly eligible students from such a transformative experience. That would be a tragedy.”
With this in mind, expansion of UD’s Rome Campus will begin in spring.
The building project will be finished in two to three years, although two is the current goal.
Multiple parts of campus will be expanded. Five more rooms, each with two or three beds, will be added for students. This will allow up to 15 additional students per semester to go to Rome.
In the mensa, there will be an added annex with 20 more seats and more expansive kitchen areas.
Two new faculty apartments will be added, increasing the ability of professors with families to live comfortably on campus.
New athletic fields, including a soccer field, will be built on the side of the vineyard to replace those in areas which will soon house the new construction.
Further, extra underground storage facilities will be added under the villa and dormitory building, and diesel-oil heating and hot-water units in the original dormitory building will be replaced.
“The Rome Expansion and Renewal Plan is crucial to the continued success of the Rome program,” Bergez said. “The Rome program is one of the best and most important assets of UD as a whole, and we need to do everything we can to keep it as successful and vibrant as it is.”
Vincenzo Vannini, the architect of the Rome campus, designed the new additions to the campus as well as the old ones, as the staff want the new buildings to blend in with the pre-existing structures.
This will allow more students to access the Rome semester without changing the fundamental aesthetic of the common Rome experience.
Said Bergez, “One of the reasons for [UD’s] success is the ability for so many of our students to spend a semester on the Eugene Constantin Rome campus; it unites the student body in a common bond of ‘the Rome semester,” Bergez said.