Crane looms large as construction continues

Hannah Mayer, Staff Reporter

A self-erecting crane sits above McAlister Place at Tulane University as construction continues.
The surplus of construction projects around Tulane’s campus aims to bring significant changes to the area. (Nick Villamil)

The bulldozers and debris sites on campus are part of two major construction projects currently happening at Tulane University. 

The first project — called Housing Development Phase I — is being conducted on the uptown campus. The project will result in two connecting student residence halls, housing 700 students in the 230,000-square-foot residence. In addition to housing students, these residence halls will have study spaces, a student lounge, a 200-seat multipurpose theatre, meeting rooms, classrooms and other communal spaces. 

The project will be in the space previously occupied by Bruff Commons, situated between residence halls Phelps and Irby. The project is slated to be completed by fall 2022. The Tulane crane — a favorite of the Tulane undergraduate community with its own Instagram account — is housed on this construction site. The crane will remain in place through spring 2022.

Housing Development Phase II will include changes to the residential housing in Irby and Phelps.

“The project is the two buildings that make up the first phase of our housing development,” says Patrick Norton, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “More information about Phase II will be shared soon.”

The second major construction project is Thirteen15, which is off campus. This project is expected to open this coming fall and will feature a new apartment building in the old Warwick Hotel, which has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina. The building will be a market-rate apartment building specifically for members of the Tulane community including students, employees and alumni. 

“The building will also feature an exciting new concept from a legendary New Orleans restaurant group,” Norton said. 

Other smaller construction projects which are currently underway include a renovation of Richardson Memorial Hall and the building of a new science center which will sit between Stanley Thomas Hall and Flower Hall. This new science building will be called the Steven and Jann Paul Hall for Science and Engineering.

Hurricane Ida had some effect on the timeline of the projects, but it was very minimal.

“Some of our projects have been delayed up to a month or longer,” Norton said. “But we are working with our contractors to recover that time.”