DePaul University has proposed demolishing five century-old buildings in the heart of its Chicago campus to build a modern four-story practice basketball facility.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the university's board of trustees have approved plans to demolish the five buildings. Four of them are three-story walk-up townhouses.
But dozens of neighbors and students voiced concerns about the impact the development would have on student housing availability and the character of the neighborhood. The biggest concern: tearing down century-old structures that will most likely never be built again in the area.
The renderings for the new facility illustrate plans for one large building with two full basketball courts and lounge spaces for varsity teams. Plans include a shading system to reduce light projecting out at night and markings on the glass to lower the risk of birds crashing into the glass.
DeWayne Peevy, vice president and director of athletics, says DePaul has fallen behind other Big East schools in recruiting efforts partly because of outdated and crowded facilities.
Although opponents argued the 100-year-old buildings should not be torn down, the buildings have been found to hold no specific historic significance to prevent demolition, said Joe Antunovich, the lead architect for DePaul’s development projects.
To build the facility, the university must seek city approval for changes to its zoning ordinances.
If approved, construction would not break ground on the project until summer 2025, school officials said.