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The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

JCU launches JC4U marketing campaign with a vision to improve housing and student life

Jacob Hanicak
Dolan Hall, one of the first and second-year dorms on John Carroll’s campus.

In an announcement released last semester, John Carroll introduced a new housing policy which affects both current and future JCU students when it comes to living requirements. For students who entered either in the fall of 2022 or the spring of 2023, university-sponsored housing is required for at least three years. However, students who entered in the fall of 2023 or later are now required to live in university-sponsored housing for all four years.

This was the first step in a new marketing plan for John Carroll: JC4U. Mike Scanlan ‘06, the Vice President for University Relations at JCU, stated, “The concept of JC4U supports the four-year residential experience, but more so speaks to the intersection of academics, experiences and residence life for students on our campus. It highlights the many opportunities available to students at John Carroll and also emphasizes the interconnectivity of everything within the four-year experience for an undergraduate student.”

Students seem to share Scanlan’s optimism, though there are some hesitations about the limitations on student housing in the meantime. As Elizabeth Stout ‘27 put it, “I think it’s a great way to build community between classes, but I could see it becoming a problem when it comes to the housing market in a few years.” While there are plenty of dormitory options available for students living on-campus, the off-campus situation will become difficult for students until current and future projects are completed, providing more off-campus apartments for students that align with the new university-sponsored housing requirement.

But, what does JC4U entail for students specifically, and how will this change the look of the university and University Heights as a whole?

According to John Carroll’s website, the JC4U campaign plans to completely transform the student housing process. University-sponsored housing includes the already existing dorm buildings found on John Carroll’s campus, along with existing and future student apartments owned exclusively by the university. The initiative aims to create a stronger and more inclusive campus environment for all students with the thought being that university-owned housing will be more reliable with maintenance than privately-rented housing. Not only that, but the plans call for a massive re-development of the area around John Carroll’s campus.

And it truly is a massive undertaking.

The main plan for off-campus housing sponsored by the university includes not only a renovation of the existing apartments around Fairmount Circle, but a re-development of the South Gate area of campus along John Carroll Boulevard. The existing apartments around Fairmount Circle currently have one building currently under renovation, that being the one apartment building that lies on the University Heights side of the border; it will be completed for students by the fall of 2024.

However, when it comes to the other buildings on Fairmount Circle, they fall on the Shaker Heights side of the border and while the university anticipates the completion of those apartments to be 2026, there has been backlash from the current residents of these buildings, who are not students of John Carroll University, something that has caused controversy in recent Shaker Heights town meetings.

The plan also calls for, as mentioned before, the complete revamping of the buildings along John Carroll Boulevard, located just outside the South Gate of campus. While the strip plaza featuring popular businesses such as Pizzazz, Ben & Jerry’s and Boaz would remain, the former BP gas station on the other side of the street along with the Mr. Tire garage is set to be demolished. This demolition would then make way for new developments, intended to bring both businesses and more housing for students closer to the JCU campus.

Rendering of the former South Gate redevelopment plans, which have now been scaled down, looking towards the Dolan Science Center from Fairmount Circle. (VOCON)

While discussing plans for said fieldhouse, JCU did originally outline a 525-space parking garage, but did not provide any detail on what that would look like. A parking garage of this magnitude would be a notable solution to the current saga of parking at the (now former) Notre Dame College lots, where students have been victim to a multitude of vehicle break-ins. However, the university was not able to find room for this parking garage, and the plans seem to be dead in the water for this aspect of the project.

The project includes the aforementioned demolition of the old BP gas station and Mr. Tire garage. This demolition makes way for a brand new, mixed-use building along John Carroll Boulevard. The building would be six floors in height and would feature businesses along the ground floor and student housing on floors two through five. These student apartments would be made available to upper-classmen at John Carroll and would aim to provide a stable, university-sponsored environment where there would be little maintenance concerns, as all upkeep would be handled by the university.

The JC4U campaign aims to create more university-sponsored student housing, along with other amenities such as increased parking and businesses close to campus. This comes at a time where massive projects are either ongoing, such as the new fieldhouse, or have recently been completed, such as the renovation of the D.J. Lombardo Student Center. All of these projects fit into the JC4U mission, that being to create a better overall experience for students in every corner of campus life.

The university is still working with both University Heights and Shaker Heights to see these projects through. These efforts will undoubtedly take years to complete, but the JC4U campaign has launched and there seems to be little in the way of stopping it, all in an attempt to make student life on campus better and to increase the sense of community at JCU. To check out preliminary floor plans and images of the project, visit here.

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