Villanova sought approval to build a "High School Stadium"

Villanova University

The Main Lot construction proposal apparently includes a few mentions for athletics, according to discussions at a recent Radnor Planning meeting.

The Radnor Township Planning Commission has tabled Villanova's plans to build new dormitories and a performing arts center along Lancaster Avenue. This, despite pleas from University attorney Nick Caniglia for the board to vote on the issue -- even asking them to deny it at one point.

"IF you want to deny it, deny it," Maine Line Media reports Caniglia saying. "We’re not going to agree to reductions in setbacks. It’s been just delay, delay, delay. Let’s move on."

Of interest at the latest board meeting, however, was the revelation that Villanova's proposed zoning changes included some provisions to allow later athletic facilities to be built. Specifically, a provision that would make the construction of a Field House, Stadium or Swimming Pool easier for the township's universities.

Peter Nelson, solicitor to the board, said the proposal would not permit "the Linc," but rather allow stadium similar to a high school stadium.

Planning Commissioner Elizabeth Springer said that might entail parking and traffic problems.

"I am troubled by references to field houses or stadiums or arenas," said Planning Commissioner John Lord. "That takes it to a different level."

He suggested the clause be eliminated and other members agreed

Based on this, we might infer that Villanova has some plans in the hopper for athletic facilities. A field house, perhaps serving as football offices and facilities or an extension of the athletics department from the currently cramped spaces in Jake Nevin, could be on the table. A natatorium for swimming and diving may also be on the block, based on this report... or a "high school stadium," that likely wouldn't be an improvement over the current Villanova Stadium for football.

A high school football-sized stadium, however, would be an improvement over the current spectator stands available for men's and women's soccer and would allow 'Nova to improve it's facilities for those non-revenue sports.

VUhoops was not able to find a copy of the proposed ordinance, so more specifics on how athletic facilities are described cannot be discerned. This sounds like "housekeeping," in a sense, to build in provisions for a number of smaller projects, but not the move that will push through any major athletics change at Villanova.

Any improvements to the Pavilion would likely require separate approvals, any improvements to the football stadium would likely also present issues.

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