Groundbreaking ceremony for new student center Oct. 13, Cushing’s revitalization imminent

Courtesy\Saint Anselm College
South view of the new student center.

Dan Flatley, Crier Staff

The Crier has learned that the groundbreaking ceremony for the new student center will take place on October 13 at 4:00pm in front of Cushing, according to Senior Vice President for College Advancement Jim Flanagan.

One lead gift is making this new student center possible. This donor will be recognized at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Occupants of the old student center are currently in the process of vacating their offices and relocating to various places around campus.

Not only will there be student common space, but from President Steven DiSalvo’s Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 8, The Crier learned that this building will also house the bookstore, a new café, the Academic Resource Center, the Meelia Center, the Multicultural Center, Campus Ministry, a prayer space, the Office of Career Services, and more. This building represents a vitalization to this area of campus.

The images above are artist renderings of the exterior of the new student center from the north, south, east, and west angles.  The north view is the view from the new entrance to campus.  This rendering is also the view from the Hilary Hall lawn.

The view from the south shows one of the most dramatic changes to Cushing, where the current loading dock is located.  Dr. DiSalvo noted that the current parking area near that loading dock will disappear. However this new entrance improves accessibility with a ground floor entrance leading directly to elevators that reach all three floors.

The east view is where the building will now have the much demanded indoor connection to Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.

Finally, the west view shows the front of the building, which will preserve the original archways surrounding the exterior of the building. Dr. DiSalvo noted that Father Iain of the Saint Anselm monastic community was a leader in preserving the architectural integrity of the college through these types of decision.  Campus community members have asked whether this will be cost effective.

Throughout his Convocation address, Dr. DiSalvo answered that question.  The total budget for this project is estimated to be $15 million and it is also estimated to have a 15-month timeline.

The goal that Dr. DiSalvo, Dr. Dumay, Mr. Flanagan, and the college promised the Board of Trustees was to raise 50% of the total estimated budget.  Dr. DiSalvo confirmed that the dollar number of that goal was $7.6 million.  As of Thursday, September 8, 2016, the College has raised $6.4 million of that $7.6 million goal. Dr. DiSalvo also confirmed that the College is nowhere near its debt covenant.

This post has been updated.