Holy Cross to Construct Major New Building and Create Center for Religion, Ethics, Culture

WORCESTER, Mass. – Frank Vellaccio, acting president at the College of the Holy Cross, announced the College will break ground in May for a new $19 million, 56,000  square foot building.  Currently known as College Hall, it will house three  key academic departments, an information and technology center and a new Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture.  In  addition, the new facility will provide critical interior and exterior space for social interaction and dialogue.

"This is a most exciting project, crucial to our future and to fulfilling our mission," says Frank Vellaccio, acting president. "College Hall will satisfy our great need for additional space and provide a signature building as the home for the new Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture."

The importance of College Hall led Holy Cross to seek the world-class architectural work of Graham Gund Architects.  The architects will develop a beautiful and functional signature building that meets today's needs while capturing the goals proposed  by the original College architects and planners in the 1880s.

College Hall will be located in the geographic heart of the Holy Cross campus, on the hillside that separates Fenwick and O'Kane Halls from the Hogan Campus Center.  It will connect the lower campus, where much of the academic life occurs, and  the upper campus, where much of the social and residential life takes place.  An ongoing commitment of Holy Cross is to  bridge the academic, spiritual and social lives of students.  By its location and the nature of what it houses, College Hall will clearly serve this vital purpose.

Within the new building, the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture will serve as a site for dialogue within the Holy Cross community and as a resource for other institutions of higher learning that take seriously the relationship between faith and intellect and between education and service to others.  It will help Holy Cross fulfill its mission by creating a meeting ground for  all educators who are interested in making religion, ethics and moral questions an integral part of undergraduate education.

"It will encourage dialogue about fundamental religious and philosophical questions facing all people of faith, questions at the  heart of liberal arts education, says David J. O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Roman Catholic Studies and director of the new center.

"Holy Cross is uniquely positioned to provide national leadership in a growing national movement to integrate questions of meaning, value and public purpose into undergraduate education, and the Center represents a major investment in this effort," continues O'Brien.

The academic departments that will be housed in College Hall are philosophy, religious studies and the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies.  Other departments focused on student academic services that will find a home there include admissions, the pre-medical and pre-dental office, class deans' offices, graduate studies, study abroad, the registrar's office and information and educational technology services.

Construction is due to begin in May  with a completion date in the summer of 2001.