DePaul offers dorms for use during Olympic Games

  • By Peter Sachs
  • Staff Writer
  • April 22, 2009 @ 8:00 AM

DePaul University may rent out some of its dorms for the Olympic games and could even allow use of the athletic fields at its Lincoln Park campus.

The school recently signed a nonbinding letter of intent with the Chicago 2016 Olympic committee, DePaul spokesman John Holden says.

“It’s certainly, I think, an indication that parties are looking to work with each other in a good-faith effort,” Holden says. He declined to give a copy of the letter to the Daily News.

Chicago is one of four cities vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Earlier this month, members of the International Olympic Committee toured the city. The host of the 2016 games will be announced Oct. 2.

The DePaulia, the school’s student newspaper, first reported on the letter of intent. While the paper said the dorms would be used by Olympics support staff and not athletes, Holden says it is too soon to say exactly who would be staying in the university’s residence halls.

Holden says the letter of intent calls for leasing about 1,400 beds to Chicago 2016 for use during the summer Olympics. The dorm rooms would likely all be at DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus, which is near the proposed tennis and triathlon facilities.

“This is all during the summer months so obviously I don’t think we’d have any conflict with our students needing the facilities at the same time,” Holden says.

DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus would be roughly midway between the planned tennis facilities, on the lake near Irving Park Road, and the triathlon course near the Lincoln Park Zoo.

DePaul isn’t the only university considering partnering with Chicago 2016. The University of Chicago is in talks with the committee as well.

“I don’t know the substance of those conversations just because it is so early in the process for them,” says spokesman Steve Kloehn.

He added that the university supports the Olympic bid and thinks it could help in a variety of ways, but didn’t know exactly how the university might pitch in.


Daily News Staff Writer Peter Sachs covers higher education. He can be reached at 773.362.5002, ext. 18, or peter [at] chitowndailynews [dot] org.