Construction begins on LaRose Student Commons

The new facility in Elon’s Historic Neighborhood will support the goals of the university’s residential campus initiative.  

Site work begins on Monday, July 23, for construction of LaRose Student Commons adjacent to Long and Mooney buildings on Elon’s historic central campus. The two-story building will integrate living and learning by providing students a welcoming place to socialize, study, enjoy engaging speakers, and host small dinners and other residence hall programs.

Elon alumna Gail H. LaRose ’64 and her daughter, Michelle LaRose, an Elon trustee, made a major gift in 2016 to fund the building construction. The space will primarily serve students living in West, Sloan, Virginia, Smith, Carolina, and Hook, Brannock and Barney residence halls, as well as the pavilions in the Lambert Academic Village and the new East Neighborhood residence halls.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, July 20, the Mooney parking lot will close in preparation for construction. The lot will remain closed until the building is completed in fall 2019. At that time, the east half of the lot will reopen, restoring about 25 parking spots.

Drivers who normally park in Mooney lot are encouraged to use spots adjacent to the railroad tracks along Lebanon Avenue, the Historic Neighborhood lot on Kerr Avenue between East Lebanon and East College Avenues, or the new parking lot east of McMichael Science Center.

Pedestrian access to the campus from Lebanon Avenue will be maintained on the east side of Mooney lot near Hook, Brannock and Barney halls. All students, faculty and staff are asked to remain cautious and aware of equipment and traffic as work proceeds on this busy area of the central campus.

LaRose Student Commons is part of the residential campus initiative of the Elon Commitment strategic plan, providing a much-needed student commons area at the historic center of campus. Elon has made significant investments in living and learning communities, faculty and staff engagement, and facilities that bring students and faculty together to create a seamless living and learning environment.

LaRose Student Commons will include the following:

  • A 1,200-square-foot activity room on the first floor with comfortable seating that could host a variety of gatherings, including neighborhood meetings led by Residence Life staff
  • Study nooks ideal for students to work on group projects or gather for late-night conversations
  • A 3,000-square-foot event space on the second floor that could host student group meetings and events, guest lectures featuring Elon faculty scholars, career services seminars, and discussions following major campus speakers
  • Office space for the Residence Life staff and faculty directors for the Historic and East Neighborhoods.

The LaRose family, led by the late Robert E. LaRose ’66, has been one of Elon’s most devoted and generous families during the past five decades. The impact of generous gifts from Bob, Gail, Michelle and the couple’s son, Scott, can be seen across campus and includes the LaRose Digital Theatre in the Ernest A. Koury, Sr. Business Center and the Gail H. LaRose Odyssey Scholarship, which assists education students with significant financial need. A successful business leader and committed philanthropist, Bob LaRose played a pivotal role in Elon’s development during his 21 years of service on the Board of Trustees.