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10/22/2014 - Sacred Heart University Breaks Ground on New Residence Hall

Breaking ground for the new residence hall are, from left, senior Resident Success Assistants Megan Atkinson and Connor Donnelly, Bridgeport City Council members AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia and Michelle Lyons, Chairman of SHU’s Board of Trustees James T. Morley, Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and SHU President John J. Petillo.

News Story: October 22, 2014

Sacred Heart University broke ground today on a new 87,000-square-foot, 216-bed residence hall to be built on the corner of Jefferson Street and Park Avenue across from the nearly completed Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center.

The building has been designed by Centerbrook Architects in Centerbrook, Conn., and will provide students with all the latest amenities. It will be organized like a village, with bedroom suite neighborhoods sharing small lounges. To promote a building-wide community, students can gather around a bluestone fireplace in a grand three-story maple-paneled lounge on the first floor. Warm, glowing glass exterior walls highlight entries, lounges and other community spaces. Two residential wings spread out from the main entrance to form a protected grass courtyard, offering students a sunning spot to see and be seen. On its south side, the courtyard opens to the campus, framed by two glass entry stair-towers.

The new hall also features a fitness center, conference and multi-purpose rooms for formal meetings, student government activities and social events.

“It was important to us to provide a comfortable and homey atmosphere for the students while also ensuring plenty of communal space for them to gather, socialize and study. Much of their learning takes place outside the classroom, so it’s critical to provide spaces for that to occur,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. 

“Our charge from the university was to create a building that would make students feel safe and protected in a homelike setting while connecting them with their dorm mates and the surrounding campus,” said Mark Simon, a partner at Centerbrook Architects.

While its materials make the building inviting for students, they also echo the University’s recent modern structures. Exterior copper and iron spot brick are similar to the new academic building across the street.

“The two new dramatic buildings will create a new face for Sacred Heart that reflects its international standing in higher education,” Petillo said.

He said the University is grateful to the Fairfield and Bridgeport political leaders and community leaders for their support of the new building. In particular, he thanked Mike Tetreau, first selectman of the Town of Fairfield; Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; Tom McCarthy, president of the Bridgeport City Council;  and Michelle Lyons and AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, North End representatives to the Bridgeport City Council.

The hall will open in 2016. “This new hall will not only allow us to offer more on-campus housing to our students where they can interact and continue classroom discussions, but it fulfills our promise to our neighbors to build more housing on campus,” Petillo said.

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