St. Edward’s ushered in the new year with a new residential community. With construction nearing completion, students have finally begun moving into Lady Bird Johnson Hall, Edmund Hunt Hall, and Le Mans Hall.
Resident Directors Mark Convery and Roy Pequeno led an intimate group of students and faculty on a tour of the three new halls in early January to show off the new, ultra-modern amenities. From super-spacious private suites, to solid security systems, to environmentally friendly bathrooms, the university spared no expense when it came to students’ comfort and safety.
The residential community’s layout and views are also superlative. Alejandro Aravena, the award-winning Chilean architect who designed the halls, modeled the view of what is referred to as “the canyon”—the view of the breezeway and surrounding halls—to reflect elements of nature. For instance, the coarse brick hall facades, paired with the dissimilar shades of red glass windows, is meant to resemble a cracked-open geode, as Convery explained on the tour.
Freshman Joe Vrana, who moved from Doyle Hall to Hunt Hall, said it has been “interesting” living in the new residential village. Vrana explained that the construction has negatively affected social interaction between students now living in the new halls. “Everyone was really social at Doyle, but no one does anything now because of [the construction]. But otherwise, it’s been great,” Vrana added.
A prominent concern among students is how the university is planning to expand the campus while maintaining the personal touch it has with students and faculty. Patrick Kirby, who works in Office of Financial Affairs, expressed great sanguinity in St. Edward’s approach. He suggests “that responding to students in a thoughtful, individual manner…is not an issue of size, rather one of our values.” By providing improved health and counseling services, additional food services, and added common areas for students, Kirby says that the university’s hopes are that this will present more ways for students to “ascertain their own sense of individuality and identity.”
The residential community, aside from the on-site counseling center, is scheduled to be entirely finished on February 14th, with the grand opening on February 17th. For more information about the new residence halls, check out the Residence Life page on the university website.
(Written for the Hilltop Views)