University’s Pevely plans reflect disregard for student housing crisis

Mauriel Blakeley / Chief Illustrator

The epitome of American pride, the U.S. Constitution, was based on a series of compromises. And with the purchase of the Pevely building, members of the Saint Louis University community are hoping for the same kind of compromise from the administrators in the utilization of the building.

On one hand, the University will use the Pevely building for SLUCare, while there is a housing crisis that will continue to be a problem if not taken care of. On the other hand, replacing a building that is an industrial landmark of the city creates nostalgic resistance.

At this point, it is important for the administration to be clear about their intentions in using the Pevely complex. Students should remain a priority in any new facilities added to campus. There is a need for campus housing to accommodate the growing size of the student body at SLU.

FrontDoor, LLC leases about 70 apartments on the health sciences campus, which is not nearly enough to house the students who want to live within walking distance from their classes.

Creating housing in the Pevely building will benefit both graduate students in the School of Medicine, as well as undergraduate students who prefer to be housed closer to their classes on the health sciences campus.

While this separate housing may isolate the School of Medicine students from the rest of the campus, it will shorten their commute and make their demanding course of study more accessible.

Furthermore, creating lofts in the Pevely building can be incorporated into the historic infrastructure of the building, without having to change it or demolish the structure completely.

This will serve as a thoughtful courteous gesture toward the city of St. Louis, its history and valuable landmarks, from a university that claims to be an integral place in the city.

If there is need for SLUCare office space, there is still the possibility of incorporating office space on the bottom level, and lofts on the top of the building, while at the same time preserving the historic infrastructure. Should the University decide to adopt such a compromise, it will certainly go down among the greatest since the Great Compromise.