Gianna Cravedi ‘23
In the past couple of years College of the Holy Cross has seen an influx of new buildings and renovations to existing ones. With the addition of the Luth Athletic Complex which was finished in April 2018, many students found the need for a new Recreation Center for non-varsity athletes. Construction for the Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center, “The Jo,” began in February of this year. The college also began construction for the Prior Performing Arts Center this past July. According to Chief Facilities Officer, Scott Merrill, both projects are currently on schedule and no unforeseen problems have occurred up to this point.
“The Jo” is expected to be completed for this upcoming August, and will be ready for use at the beginning of the 2020 fall semester. As of right now the concrete foundations and steel frame have been completed. Dimeo Construction is currently completing the walls and roofing, and once the building is protected from weather elements, work on the interior will begin. “The Jo” will not only house a one-tenth mile suspended jogging track and weight and cardio equipment, it will also be the new home to the Holy Cross Department of Public Safety. With winter approaching, exterior site work including landscaping and paving will be completed next summer. While construction is still going on, small gyms for non-varsity athletes have been established around campus. Loyola Fitness Studio is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 12 a.m., and the Luth Athletic Complex has several areas with weight and cardio equipment. There are also external facilities outside the Luth Athletic Complex.
Blasting and excavation for the Prior Performing Arts Center has recently been completed as well. Concrete foundations and walls will be installed in the upcoming months, and the steel framing is scheduled to begin in February. Once this is done, installation for the exterior walls and roof will begin. The Arts Center is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2021, allowing for full use by the 2022 spring semester. Once completed it will house a 400-seat proscenium-style concert hall and theatre, along with a 200-seat fully flexible experimental theatre space. The Beehive, a multi-purpose area, will include a shared multimedia teaching space for electronic music and musical composition courses, sound recording, sound editing, and video and film editing, along with collaborative work spaces, multipurpose rehearsal spaces, and gathering spaces with movable furniture. The Cantor Art Gallery that is currently in O’Kane Hall will be moved here to increase exhibition and storage space. Outside of the Center there will be gardens for meditation and outdoor creative work, as well as a small amphitheater. While both projects are still heavily under construction, they will provide more study and recreational space for students once completed.
Photo by Zoe Petit ’22