BY: VICTORIA MESCALL
With a record breaking number of students returning to campus this fall, Sacred Heart University is growing in both population and land use consumption.
Currently, there are four construction sites active on campus, two facilities being constructed and modified off campus, and one building ready for a ribbon cutting later this month.
The biggest construction site currently on campus is the revamp of the formerly known Jewish Home’s Bennett building. The building will be an upper classmen residence hall named after philanthropist Pierre Toussaint.
In Toussaint Hall the bedrooms will mostly be double occupancy, with a handful of single occupancy dorms. The building is also said to feature an arcade-style game room, and a lounge with a fish tank.
Toussaint Hall will be located on a newly renovated space on campus, the Upper Quad.
“It will expand the campus and provide another place for students to live and enjoy their college career,” Quintong said.
Behind Toussaint Hall, on the Upper Quad a new dining facility is being imported. Constructed off-site and delivered ready-made, the pieces of JP’s Diner have already begun arriving on campus. The Diner is named after Sacred Heart’s own President Dr. John Petillo. The 50’s themed diner will seat approximately 110 people inside, as well as 16 outside. And the restaurant will accept dining dollars, and will stay open until 3 a.m. on weekends.
Access to Toussaint Hall and JP’s Diner will be available through a newly constructed Amphitheatre. The seating is across from the Chapel of the Holy Spirit and the lower quad, specifically where Greek Rock Row was previously located.
WSHU is the onsite National Public Radio station serving Fairfield County and southeastern Connecticut. The new facility will have a brand new communication and dispatch center for the department of Public Safety. The WSHU portion will feature two full studios, four editing suites, on-air control rooms, offices, a conference room, and a rooftop deck.
In the Athletic Department, a new facility is being constructed behind Sacred Heart women’s softball’s home field, Pioneer Park. This new space will feature bowling alleys; rock climbing walls, sports simulators and a fitness center.
Last campus, SHU acquired General Electric’s former global headquarters, and established the site as their new West Campus. The facilities sit on 66-acres, feature 550,000 square feet of building space, and 800 additional parking spaces.
West Campus will be the home of the newly forming School of Computing, based in the fields of computer engineering, computer gaming and cyber security, as well as developing programs in health and life sciences and a new hospitality management program.
The Center for Health Care Education (CHE) is a new three story 120,000 square-foot facility located just a mile down Park Ave. from campus.
The CHE is having its grand opening on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at 11 a.m.
Construction around campus will continue throughout the year.