Student Commons Groundbreaking

News Story: April 1, 2010

Watch video of the groundbreaking

On Thursday, May 6, 2010, at 2:00 p.m., Sacred Heart University will break ground on a new student commons building. The planned facility will be 46,000 square feet and will link the upper and lower campuses. Located at the crossroads of the Humanities Center Academic Wing and Merton Hall, the building is designed to provide a variety of services to meet the evolving needs of students. The project received formal approval from the Fairfield Town Plan and Zoning Commission on February 23, 2010.
The building will include a full-service kitchen with a dining hall that will seat 250 people as well as a smaller dining area for 50. The building will offer important resources and enable increased support for students in their ability to meet and study. The existing bookstore will be relocated to the new building in an effort to provide a more interactive location with increased exposure to student social activities and pedestrian traffic. In addition, the computer services center known as the “IT Factory” is also planned for this building. Other features include lounges and social learning spaces as well as presentation and conference rooms.
A dramatic “V”-shaped building set into the hillside on the drive to the William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center, it has taken into account numerous opportunities for sustainability and energy efficiency.
Sasaki Architects of Watertown, Massachusetts, has planned and designed the facility in collaboration with the University. The firm, which won an international design competition for the Olympics in Beijing, was responsible for the University’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit that opened to wide acclaim in September 2009. Known for its educational commissions, Sasaki has designed major projects at such schools as Harvard, Boston College, and Trinity College in Hartford.
The Student Commons building will cost $17 million and is planned for completion in early 2012.

To watch a photo slide show from the groundbreaking, click here.