By Stephen Fasulo II
Plans for the construction of a new restaurant and bar in the space previously held by the Catholic University bookstore in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center have recently been announced, and work is said to be starting this week.
Ever since the campus Barnes and Noble bookstore, which was once located on the second floor of the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, vacated to an off-campus location on Monroe Street, the area in which the bookstore resided has gone through many uses, most notably as a place to pick up books and packages at the beginning of the academic year. But that is all about to change. The University has unveiled plans to begin construction of a lounge and pub called Murphy’s within the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, and they plan to begin the construction process by the end of this week.
In a statement from Mike Allen, Vice President for Student Affairs, more details were revealed.
“The University is excited to announce that construction has begun on the first phase of the renovation project in the former bookstore space in the Pryzbyla Center,” Allen said. “The first phase of this project will involve the conversion of the second floor space into a large student lounge area. The lounge space will include pod area seating, multiple TVs, a pool table, and a music sound system, along with comfortable space for students, faculty, and staff to interact with one another.”
The statement from the Vice President of Student Affairs also contained details of a second phase.
“The second phase of this project will include the construction of a restaurant and pub on the lower level of the former bookstore space,” Allen said.
Although the statement did not include a start date for the project, Tim Carney, the Executive Director of Housing & the Pryzbyla Center said during an interview that the gears are in motion.
“Permits and Documentation are underway and should be ready by the end of the week,” Carney said.
The lounge is a part of the University’s plan to part of the University’s plan to revitalize the image of the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center into a place for members of the Catholic University community to spend time together.
“We want to provide relaxation and lounge spaces,” said Carney. “We want to cultivate the Pryz as a living space rather than just a place to eat. We want Murphy’s to be a place where people make plans for, we want people saying ‘meet me at Murphy’s’.”
The project has raised a significant amount of funds, and the ball is rolling with the projected date of completion being June 1, 2016. Until then, the University will be seeing significant construction to the ramp area that descends from the McMahon Parking Lot to the Pryzbyla Center. The outer wall is being replaced with glass alongside a new entryway and a fireplace.
“I’d be down if it was cool enough,” said Sarah Abel, a junior Nursing major. “I’d be about it, it’d be great for the culture of the campus and a good way to bring the community closer together. It would also be great to have a closer-to-home alternative for social events.”
When asked about the possibility of alcohol being served, Abel said, “I think if they are strict enough about carding, and kept the environment under control it would be cool as long as they don’t overcharge and the lounge is big enough. Plus it’d be safer for people.”
If any student is interested in seeing the plans for Murphy’s they can go to room 207 in the Pryzbyla Center to see renderings of the final project.