Although students at Brescia University have been moving in since early last week preparing for Tuesday’s first day of classes, many upperclassmen returned to campus Monday, some to the campus’ newest residence building, St. Ann Hall.
The more than 10,000 square foot, two-story residence hall provides the campus 38 new beds for its booming enrollment.
Now with 370 beds available to students, Brescia University Dean of Students Josh Clary said St. Ann Hall not only helps with numbers, but also quality.
“Last year we had to double up beds in some of our houses and at one point we were looking at triples,” he said.
The new residence hall has allowed for those rooms that were doubled last year to return to single occupancy as well as given Clary flexibility for potential roommate conflicts or quarantine situations that could arise this school year.
Clary said that student reaction to the new hall has been positive.
“A lot of students are kicking themselves because they didn’t sign up to live here,” he said.
The most popular feature, Clary said, is the common room, which has a full kitchen and living room area. According to Clary, the common room was what everything in the building was designed around.
“We wanted to create a sense of community,” he said.
Last year Brescia experienced a surge in its freshman class, jumping from a typical first-year enrollment of 150 to 231 new students last year, spurring the need for the extra residence hall. Clary said that while a new student living space was always on the books, it was last year’s student size that caused the university to fast track the project.
Brescia president Father Larry Hostetter announced the plans for two new residence halls in September 2018. Clary said there currently isn’t a timeline on the second residence hall and a location has not yet been confirmed.
“When we set projections for next year we will set a timeline for that project,” he said.
Officials have said that the second residence hall would be a replica of the St. Ann building and Eighth Street is a potential location.
Clary said Brescia is not expecting the same freshman student boom like last year. The university is projecting freshman numbers more on track with its normal new student rate, but Clary said that is all still up in the air with students still registering.
The other construction project underway on campus is the C.E. Field Center for Professional Studies, which will house the Charles Albert Reid School of Business, the School of Education and the Marilyn Younger Conley School of Social Work, in addition to an auditorium, art gallery and digital studio.
Officials said that the project should be complete by December of this year, but won’t be opened for students and faculty until fall of 2020.