As a result of recent approval by the Radnor township, Eastern will soon have two new buildings on campus.
The approval means that Eastern can begin work on a new office building and residence hall on the site between Eagle and King of Prussia Roads, according to Wes Bryan, vice president of finance and operations.
“We’re delighted to be where we are,” Bryan said.
The approval was the result of six months of planning and negotiations between Eastern and Radnor’s Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.
Although those two bodies never denied the request to build, Eastern was required to revise its plans many times before both the town and Eastern were satisfied with the results, according to Bryan.
“It was an interactive process,” he said. “They would have ideas, and we would have reasons not to implement those ideas, and it was a matter of reaching a consensus.”
Township engineer Daniel Malloy said he felt the plans as they now stand are satisfactory.
“We did quite a bit of negotiating until the plans satisfied the neighbors and the University,” he said.
Some revisions were based on wetlands issues. Others were made because of neighbors’ concerns that there would be too much traffic due to the extra people living and working in the buildings, according to Malloy.
In response to those concerns, Eastern agreed to install a parking lot below Doane near Fairview Drive to prevent people driving around local roads looking for parking.
Malloy said other issues during the negotiation process were stormwater management and positioning the buildings far enough from both roads.
According to Bryan, the residence hall will hold 160 students,
and the office building will house the Campolo school faculty and staff in 90 offices and 11 classrooms. The buildings, he said, are financed by $15 million in bonds.
He said work on the site should begin early in September, and he hopes construction will only take about a year, though the exact length of the construction is liable to change.
“I’m glad we’ve made the progress we have,” he said.