New Residence Hall

Emma Mae Sheedy, Reporter

Rumors have been circling St. Thomas Aquinas College about a new residence hall being built on campus. Some say it’s going to be larger than any of the other buildings. Others swear it will be pushed behind the 300 building. 

Well, now we have some of the answers. St. Thomas Aquinas College will be adding a new residence hall by 2020, or at least that’s what Mr. Norman Huling has planned for.  

Huling has clarified that there will be a new residence hall on campus behind the 300 building in a ‘T’ formation. This building is currently being called “Building 500.” It is now in the town approval stage, which means the school is waiting for permits and other agreements before construction can begin to take place. 

“The plan we have for this building is different than the current [buildings]. The new resident hall in the Aquinas Village has been in the works for over a year,” said Huling. “We are hoping from a residential standpoint, to have it open for fall of 2020.” 

The plan for Building 500 is to be a two-story building full of only doubles. There will be 72 student occupants in total, with 36 people per floor and each dorm of two people sharing a bathroom. This feature makes it different than a traditional dorm. 

“To me it’s all about the students, they will have more and better choices, more state-of-the-art rooms,” said Huling. “After a survey a few years ago, it showed that residential students preferred doubles over any other rooming.”

The building will be set up in long hallways with rooms. The floors currently have no common area for students, but Huling is pushing for a small common area for each of the floors. Huling ensures to emphasize the importance of the residential students.  

Sophomore Kobe Opoku said, “I think it’s an awesome idea just because it’s going to create more space and an opportunity for commuters who live far. [They will] get to stay on campus.”

With the construction of the building, some students worry about the disruptions it will bring to the surrounding residential buildings. Sophomore Samantha Biss living in the 300 building has strong thoughts about these interruptions. 

“I think beginning to build for the spring semester would be very disruptive to us students living right next to the site. College has consisted of a lot of late nights of studying and sleeping in whenever possible,” Biss said. “The early hours the work would be happening at would definitely be a distraction, as well as an inconvenience considering it’ll happen right outside my window.”

The construction is expected to take place during the daytime in the spring semester. Huling stresses the importance of the students when explaining the timing of construction. He ensures that the planning process has taken into consideration the students living around the building site.  

“We pay for the housing which is why we shouldn’t have to put up with the noise and probable limited parking that comes with this construction. A much better option would be if they worked on the building over the summer break instead of our spring semester,” Biss added.

Other students such as junior Zachary Faljean believe that getting a new building would be a great idea for St. Thomas Aquinas College. 

“I’m glad the school is doing more for the people that are living on campus,” said Faljean. “I mean it’s cool to have a new addition to the school, but I probably won’t be dorming in it, due to the expenses.”

There are still some unanswered questions about the new building, so keep an eye out for any updates.