Loyola College expands Boumi Temple: Addition of 21-acre parcel gives Jesuit institution more room to grow.

June 26, 1996

LOYOLA COLLEGE has undergone quite a transformation in the past two decades. Full-time enrollment at the North Charles Street Jesuit institution has grown from 1,851 in 1976 to more than 3,000. Meanwhile, the characteristics of the student body have changed. Ten years ago most of its students were from Maryland and lived off campus. Now 70 percent are from out of state and live in on-campus dormitories.

Loyola's reputation also has grown. Last year, 5,536 high school graduates applied to be in its freshman class, a figure that among the nation's 28 Jesuit institutions is exceeded only by Georgetown and Marquette universities and Boston College.

Despite its crowded core campus, Loyola has found ways to expand.

It has bought nearby high-rise towers and garden apartments and converted them into dormitories. The campus, which consisted of 20 acres when Loyola moved to North Baltimore from Centre Street in 1922, has gradually grown to 60 acres. The recently announced acquisition of an additional 21-acre parcel within walking distance of the core campus will satisfy some of the long-term space needs of the college, which projects a 3,200-student enrollment as its optimal size.

Loyola has not disclosed what it intends to do with the new property, which is currently owned by the Shriners and contains their Boumi Temple, with meeting halls and cafeteria facilities. But it is a good bet that the surrounding acres, with ample parking, will be used to enhance Loyola's recreational facilities.

Over the years, Loyola's relations with nearby residential neighborhoods have not always been free of friction. Yet the college's purchase of the Boumi Temple property appears to be in the best interests of everyone concerned.

Although the site does not adjoin Loyola's core campus at North Charles Street and Cold Spring Lane, the additional land gives the college room to grow and to remain competitive without adversely affecting the stability of some of the most desirable residential areas in Baltimore City.

Pub Date: 6/26/96

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