Kate McLaughlin ’21
In a September 6 email, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president, welcomed the campus community back to the College and detailed multiple planned changes for the school in its landmark 175th year, including the construction of two new buildings: a new recreation and wellness center and a center for the arts and creativity.
The new buildings are part of the College’s $400 million Become More campaign, publicly launched in 2016. The Become More fundraising initiative allowed for the construction of both the Joyce Contemplative Center and the Hart Center in 2017. The campaign’s goals include: inspiring creative teaching and learning; advancing success, leadership, and citizenship; and enabling access, diversity, and affordability.
The new recreation and wellness center will be located at the Field House’s current location, and will feature basketball courts, multiple exercise studios, weight training rooms, and new shower and locker spaces. At the top of the three-story building will be a one-tenth mile suspended jogging track that will look out on the hills of Worcester.
The new arts building will be situated between the Hogan Campus Center and the Luth Athletic Complex. It will house the performance and rehearsal programs of the Music Department and the Theatre Department, multiple dance studios, and the Cantor Art Gallery. It will also feature the “beehive,” a creative gathering space with a modern and open layout where students can explore the arts and learn in creative and collaborative ways.
In a 2017 Holy Cross Magazine article on the Center for Arts and Creativity, Margaret Freije, provost and dean of the College, said that the new art center will help students become better problem solvers and more flexible thinkers. She added, “This center will magnify those benefits by inviting students and faculty to explore together in a space that encourages creativity and experimentation. And it will allow the entire campus to embrace the arts as a way to build community and engage the wider world.”
The center will also have an important historical context. Rev. William Campbell, the College’s Vice President for Mission, referenced the role that the arts have long played in Jesuit ministry and missionary efforts, saying the Jesuits “quickly understood that the arts could transform lives by deepening one’s understanding of one’s relationship with God.”
Rev. Boroughs wrote in his letter to the campus community: “These two buildings on our upper campus will be focal points for years to come and represent our continued investment in a Holy Cross education that prioritizes the intellectual, spiritual, physical, and ethical development of our students and the role of arts and creativity in that development.” Both projects are expected to begin simultaneously in the spring.