By Sean Kelly
A new semester brings new facilities for Sacred Heart University faculty, staff and students.
Situated across from Roncalli Hall sits one of Sacred Heart’s newest buildings for both Public Safety and WSHU, Sacred Heart’s National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate.
“The new facility will allow Public Safety to operate from a dedicated space designed to improve operational capabilities with a new dispatch area,” said Paul Healy, Executive Director of Emergency Management at Sacred Heart. “These improvements in communications infrastructure including an EOC [Emergency Operations Center] will enhance our emergency management functions.”
Sacred Heart has also merged WSHU into the new public safety building with the goal of implementing faster emergency communication between students and public safety officers.
“The new combined WSHU and Public Safety facility will serve to support our safety and security mission to the Sacred Heart community for many years to come,” said Healy. Safety and security enhancements are always being reviewed as technology and advanced communication equipment become available.”
WHSU’s frequency map illustrates that their broadcasts can be heard from New Preston, Conn. to parts of Long Island.
“The growth of the University academic enterprise requires that support departments continue to improve professional services,” said Healy. “The new facility achieves this enhancement for Public Safety personnel in our mission to ensure safety and security programs across the entire campus.”
With this new building, Public Safety will have more opportunities to spread its mission not just through campus, but with other affiliated Public Safety agencies.
“The new facility will enable Public Safety to improve services to the University community. The facility brings improved training capabilities for our personnel and space for our municipal police emergency services partners,” said Healy.
WSHU and Public Safety’s new building is still under construction, but is expected to open sometime in the Spring of 2018.
Sacred Heart has also been working on and developing the land that was previously owned by The Jewish Home, which was purchased for $16.5 million in 2016.
Already opened, Sacred Heart’s newest residence hall, Pierre Toussaint Hall, is the first building to open on the Upper Quad of main campus.
The building currently houses a mixture of residents ranging from sophomores to seniors and transfer students.
Toussaint Hall features modern décor, a two-story study lounge, a fish tank, an arcade-style game room, and spacious pod-style living quarters.
Senior Kristen Barcellos, a resident living in Toussaint, said that it’s not the space that is important, but the atmosphere.
“At Toussaint Hall, you are welcomed with beautiful upscale décor and architecture to provide that feeling of cultural work all around you,” said Barcellos. “It’s also nice to be able to be surrounded by home amenities such as a fireplace and really nice common areas to provide student relaxation and the feeling that home is not so far away.”
Toussaint Hall is also in a central location, which makes it an ideal residence hall for students that are involved in activities that span throughout all of campus.
“Only a short walk to the Pitt Center, the hall does provide a convenient walk since it is located in the middle of everything “said sophomore Nathan Gervais.
The remainder of the Upper Quad is not being renovated as of right now, but there are plans for it to include a residential village and dining hall over the course of the next few years.