Friday, September 28, 2012

Brother Leopold residence hall designed to meet students’ needs


News Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s new Brother Leopold Residence Hall opened this fall with a variety of housing styles and abundant community space to accommodate students living there.

Despite work completed after classes commenced, students were able to move into Brother Leopold Hall, named after the first Christian Brother to serve as the university’s president.

“It’s great to see that it arrived on time and that people moved in on time,” said Director of Residence Life Brendan Dolan. “We wanted students to feel at home when they got here. It’s exciting to see people in it after watching it be built.”

The residence hall houses sophomore, junior and senior students in double-occupancy, single-occupancy and apartment-style suites.  According to Dolan, this structure allows the university to give as many options for living styles as possible.

“People still have their own private bedroom but still live in a community through shared space,” Dolan said.

Each floor of the new building contains at least community space. The spaces range from large lounges with multiple couches and lounge chairs to smaller study areas with a few tables and chairs. The lounges contain smart televisions that can connect to the Internet.

Dean of Students Tim Gossen shares Dolan’s value for community space.  Gossen said that community space was important when designing the building to offer “places for people to hang out with friends, groups or study; whatever it might be.”

Brother Leopold Hall also contains a cardio room, a chapel and numerous study areas, “giving options for holistic wellness: physical, spiritual and mental,” said Dolan. “It’s designed well and it’s very clear that the design is based for the students’ needs.”

“It was a long process of getting a new residence hall,” said Gossen. “The last new residence hall was actually Hillside Hall and that opened in the fall of 2001.”

The university will use the new building as a year-round residence hall, housing those who stay on campus during the summer as well as during the school year, according to Gossen. He said, “I hope it’s something that they like and they want to live in this year and many years to come.”

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