by Ben Quach ’27
As Bellarmine welcomed in the school year, the new Stockton parking structure had finally been constructed, completed with EV chargers and electricity for drivers arriving from the South side of campus. As a result, recently, a section of the Matthewson parking lot has been taped and gated off, altering traffic flow here at Bellarmine.
When I talked with Mr. Miller, our dean, and Mr. Ron Miller, the school’s chief financial officer (CFO), about what’s been going on with these recent developments, they told me shutting down the majority of Matthewson’s parking spaces was all part of a bigger plan involving the moving of Berchmans Hall.
Several decades ago, Berchmans Hall was located at the intersection of Stockton Ave. and Taylor St, the location of the nearest Salvation Army to campus, instead of where it is now. When the city needed to move the house, Bellarmine bought it, moving it onto campus, preventing the demolition of a historical relic.
Over the years, the house has been used for a multitude of purposes. Once used for senior dorms, it housed generations of different students. More recently, Mr. Arias, the school’s facilities director, lived in Berchmans. But at the moment, the house stands empty.
The school is once again moving the building, instead this time onto the shared space in the O’Donnell Matthewson parking lots, closer to Hedding St. Interestingly, the process involves rotating the building to be parallel to Hedding Street, effectively 90 degrees. That means “physically lifting up the building and moving it in pieces” to its new location, according to Mr. Miller. And when asked when this move is scheduled to happen, Mr. Ron Miller told me that it’s going to be “closer to the end of this year, likely sometime between the upcoming Thanksgiving break and the close of the semester.”
So what really is the purpose of moving a century-old house halfway across the parking lot? Is the laborious process worth the effort and funds?
When asked this question, Mr. Ron Miller told me that “it’s to allow for the construction of Wade Academic Center. The school can’t tear it down. It’s a historical building.” said the school’s CFO. “You’ve got to preserve it. That’s what the city wants you to do.”
But moving Berchmans Hall meant taking up parking spaces. So, “the Stockton structure was built, replacing the lost parking space.” And because the school is a Green Ribbon School, EV chargers were a must in the facility. Indeed, Bellarmine students, parents, faculty and staff can enjoy the luxury of the parking garage without having to contend for the limited parking spaces at the back of Matthewson.
On another note, “there are plans of moving the admissions office into Berchmans Hall as well,” commented Mr. Miller, but nothing is set in stone. What we do know for certain is that Berchmans will be moved, and a brand-new academic center will be built, as students head off into their breaks.