Groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Sept. 26, kicks off creation of the Hoff Academic Quadrangle

Demolition of houses on Ledgewood and Cincinnati Bell building makes room for construction to begin | September 26, 2008

A groundbreaking ceremony held Friday, Sept. 26, makes way for the development of the James E. Hoff, S.J., Academic Quadrangle, the most sweeping project in Xavier University’s 177-year history.

The Hoff Academic Quad is the centerpiece of a transformation on the Xavier campus to help meet the learning needs of 21st century students. It is named for James E. Hoff, S.J., 33rd Jesuit president of Xavier. The Quad features the Learning Commons and the new Williams College of Business. Xavier is working with Messer Construction Co. to complete the projects.

About 500 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony held under a canopy at the cleared lot on Ledgewood Drive near Bellarmine Circle. A group of Xavier Board of Trustee members, President Michael J. Graham, S.J., Student Government Association president Craig Scanlon and prominent University administrators turned dirt with shovels in a symbolic groundbreaking for the start of the project. In remarks about the impact of the Quad on the future of the University, Fr. Graham reflected on the changes that began under the leadership of his predecessor, James Hoff, S.J.

"It was as if we all sensed back in 2001, that Xavier University was only halfway through a process, a process begun in Fr. Jim Hoff’s own era, back when we dedicated the Lindner Family Physics Building, closed a portion of Ledgewood Avenue and created the Academic and Residential Malls, restored Hinkle, Schmidt and Edgecliff Halls and Bellarmine Chapel as well," Graham said.

As the heart of the Hoff Academic Quad, the Learning Commons will provide students with the facilities, technologies and services to help them master skills and gain a competitive advantage in their disciplines. The campus transformation also includes the modernization of the McDonald library and the Alter Hall classroom building and an ascending plaza connecting the existing Academic Mall with the new Quad.

The new, state-of-the-art Williams College of Business is to be located at the corner of Dana Avenue and Ledgewood Drive. The classrooms, new technology, trading room and program centers will enhance both teaching and learning in the business school. Across Dana Avenue, a new modern Central Utility Plant is also being built.

The transformation continues farther east with the 20-acre, privately-funded development known as Xavier Square. Located at the corner of Dana and Montgomery Road, Xavier Square includes a combination of student and market-rate housing, stores, restaurants, commercial office space, a boutique hotel, fitness center, student health center and new Xavier bookstore.

Xavier is partnering with Corporex Cos. for Xavier Square. Groundbreaking for that project is slated for the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009. Please log on to to view our webcam and see the latest construction videos. For a list of fast facts about the project, click here.