When you are on the Scared Heart University Main Campus on Park Avenue, you may hear banging and the sounds of construction vehicles at work. A large, red fence surrounds the former Pioneer Village parking lot, as workers continue to make progress in building a new dormitory and parking garage.
“I’m excited about it, it looks cool,” said freshman Ariana Porco. “I’m excited about the parking garage because I’ll have my car on campus next year.”
While some students are looking forward to the new additions, others have seen the construction as an inconvenience.
“It’s taking up one of the major parking lots on campus,” said junior Dylan Feehan. “It’s hard to find parking already, and it has just made it worse.”
“I don’t feel like the construction workers have directly caused inconvenience on navigating around school, but it has increased the challenge that already existed,” said senior Brianna Diaz.
The construction hasn’t just been an issue for students with cars, though.
“I live in J-Hill (Scholars Commons) and the construction is so loud,” said sophomore Giana Coccimiglio. “Walking back to the dorm, I can’t hear anything, especially when I’m on the phone.”
In addition to Main Campus, construction for a new hockey arena is finishing up down the road at West Campus.
“The completion of the Martire Family Arena on West Campus is the culmination of our robust, multi-year building and expansion program reflecting our growing national status,” said Deborah Noack, Executive Director of Communications. “The new arena will allow students, faculty and staff to cheer our teams on right here on campus.”
Some students are already looking forward to cheering on their teams at the new arena.
“Hockey is my favorite sport. I’m literally so excited,” said freshman Zoe Vella. “I’m debating coming back for the opening game since it’s over break.”
The construction of new buildings and facilities are not the only aspects of the university’s growth.
“In addition to physical expansion, the university has grown to more than 10,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students,” said Noack.
With more people and more buildings, campus has begun to look a lot different for some students.
“It’s gotten bigger and they’ve accepted a lot more people. The new dorms and the upper quad were grass when I was a freshman,” said senior Erin Gibney. “It’s cool that they’re doing this all so fast.”
“The Upper Quad was just a pile of dirt with lots of construction when I was a freshman,” said Diaz. “It’s changed so much and for the better of this campus.”
The many changes that have accompanied the university’s growth and expansion have been taken positively as a way to bring Sacred Heart students closer.
“I think the expansion might actually increase the sense of community and connection,” said freshman Victoria Philips. “People like change and it’ll be a good opportunity for people to come together and explore Sacred Heart.”
“While it may seem contradicting, I feel like the expanding of campus will actually bring people together better,” said Diaz. “Having a bigger school means more students, which means more opportunities to find people with common interests.”
In fact, the expanding campus has not stopped the Sacred Heart community from coming together.
“Despite all our growth, we have worked hard to maintain a campus where we all get to know one another through small classes, conversations and events outside the classroom and the chance to interact with everyone from the president of the university to faculty and staff at all levels,” said Noack.
The construction of the new dormitory and parking garage in Pioneer Village is set to be completed by 2024, whereas the hockey arena will be completed by January 2023. The new arena will host the men’s Division I ice hockey team against Boston College on Jan. 14, 2023, and the women’s Division I ice hockey team against Harvard one day later.