SLU-Madrid Expands, Announcing the Purchase of More Property
The Madrid Campus has acquired 1,000-square-meters (10,760-square-feet) of future classroom, work and student lounge space, slated to open for fall 2024.
On June 9, Paul Vita, Ph.D., director and academic dean, sent an email to SLU-Madrid's faculty and staff:
"It's with pleasure that I announce that Saint Louis University has purchased an additional property for its Madrid campus, approximately 1000 square meters of multi-use space, located on Calle Maestro Ángel Llorca, 6. We are moving forward with developing plans for the use of this new property as well as its impact on our current facilities, with the goal to its opening in the fall of 2024."
Dr. Vita's announcement marked the success of SLU-Madrid's three-year search for additional facilities, led by Director of Finance and Operations Victoria Villarreal.
In the fall of 2019, it was clear that SLU-Madrid would break its enrollment record and come close to its goal of 1000 students in the spring of 2020 (it reached 997). Discussions with SLU President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., and then-Interim Provost Michael Lewis, Ph.D., led to the decision to expand the physical plant of SLU-Madrid.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit a few months later. SLU-Madrid remained open throughout, with the community's health and safety as the campus' highest priorities. While international travel challenges prevented study abroad students from coming to Spain, SLU-Madrid's degree-seeking student numbers increased. Fall 2021 witnessed a record-breaking first-year class: more than 160 students. Study abroad resumed as well. SLU-Madrid's search for additional space to serve its students continued throughout.
The new property positions SLU-Madrid to support the projected increase of future students. The plans for the property, to which Dr. Vita refers in his announcement, are underway. The two floors of Maestro Ángel Llorca will likely house multipurpose classrooms and specialized instructional spaces. The planning process will also include an examination of classroom, work and lounge areas in SLU-Madrid's three current buildings.
As Dr. Vita wrote, "There are exciting conversations ahead — as SLU-Madrid expands its educational offerings and advances the University's Jesuit mission here in Spain."