“These residences are not simply the next development on the campus – they are a new development of the campus – and the campus experience – a residential experience,” President Hopey addressed the crowd.
The Student Residences Project is a key element in reaching the College’s enrollment vision of 3,000 undergraduate students and to provide more housing for undergraduate students by 2021.
The event included a speaker line-up that began with a blessing offered by Father Raymond Dlugos.
Chairman of the Board, Tim Murphy, also spoke to the crowd saying, “I am very proud to be here today with all of you. Merrimack College is an amazing place, and projects such as this will prove to others just how great we are.”
Additional members of the Board of Trustees were also in attendance and were among groups of students and staff who moved the first shovel-fulls of ceremonial dirt.
President Hopey illustrated just how far Merrimack has come by reminding the community that only a few years prior, the College had 200 empty beds. “Today we stand here celebrating not only the construction of nearly 350 more beds – but the very trajectory of growth and success that requires us to build.”
This project joins the list of other major construction projects that have taken place on the Merrimack campus during Hopey’s presidency that began in June of 2010. Other projects include the first floor of the library renovation, The Crowe Family Commons, the Merrimack Club, the O’Brien Center for Student Success and the Volpe Expansion Project.
The president recognized many who were able to make this vision a reality including Donna Swartwout, Dean of Campus life; Sarah Hicks, Director of Residence Life; Robert Cappola, Physical Plant Director; Felipe Schwartz, Assistant Vice President, External Affairs and the entire senior administration team.
The event closed with poignant words from AJ Andreucci, President of the Student Government Association as he described his Merrimack experience, “For the past four years the other seniors and I have been blessed to call Merrimack our home – this new dorm will allow future students to feel just as home.”