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Saint Mary’s dedicates Opus Hall

Erica Rangel | Monday, October 11, 2004

Saint Mary’s dedicated Opus Hall Friday afternoon, as residents and community members formally recognized the first on-campus apartment facility.

College President Carol Ann Mooney welcomed guests to the ceremony that took place in the second floor lounge.

“We are meeting the ever changing needs of our current and future students,” Mooney said. “This is a milestone in Saint Mary’s College.”

Director of Campus Ministry Judy Fean led the attendants in an opening prayer and Rev. Joseph Carey, CSC blessed the building.

On-Campus apartments are a growing trend at colleges and universities nationwide, vice president for student affairs Linda Timm said.

“Students learn more about independent living while still having the advantages of being close to campus,” Timm said. “Opus is a wonderful recruitment piece.”

While the selection process was not easy, Timm said more senior students are living in the residence halls and apartments this year because they want to be close to their friends.

“The seniors living on campus is an amazing plus for all,” Timm said. ” There is more involvement in student activities on campus, and they serve as a role model of our underclassmen.”

During the building process, students were involved in most of the decisions. Surveys were taken to get input about everything from furniture to rules, and a student committee met weekly to discuss the apartment guidelines.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I am very pleased with how everything turned out,” Opus resident Lyz Carmody said. “The parking is nice, and the walk to class is still short. I like the easy access to all the facilities. The best part is that you can share with your roommates but still have your own private space to get things done.”

Opus Hall currently houses 72 senior Saint Mary’s students in two- or four-bedroom apartments. The fully furnished apartments include Internet and cable access, along with a dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave and stove in the kitchen.

Opus Corporation, an architectural, engineering, construction and property management firm, funded more then half the cost for Opus Hall.

Senior class president Jackie Cuisinier concluded the dedication ceremony by welcoming the residents to their homes.

“Opus is a wonderful place to live,” Cuisinier said. “It demonstrates the very best Saint Mary’s has to offer.”