Brendan Bonner ’23
With the College of the Holy Cross’s beautiful location atop Mount Saint James, space can become a limiting factor when it comes to expansion within the walls of our campus. As of most recently, the development of the Arts Center has marked the newest building project within campus grounds on the Hill. However, this does not mean that the College does not have its sights on off-campus areas to facilitate expansion for Holy Cross as a whole.
In response to the increased housing needs that occurred at the start of the pandemic, Holy Cross is beginning to inquire about student housing on City View Street in the city of Worcester. These apartment style dorms, geared for upperclassmen, will ideally take the place of several previously College-owned buildings on City View Street.
The project, upon completion, will be able to house 148 students in full kitchen apartments. City View Street would be a prime location for students looking to live off-campus due to its sheer accessibility, and these new buildings are looking to be stunning if approved by the necessary parties.
While no construction has begun just yet, the project is awaiting approval from both the City of Worcester Planning Board and the Holy Cross Board of Trustees. Upon receiving said approval, construction could begin as early as this upcoming summer and be completed prior to move-in for the 2023 fall semester.
There are several factors that ultimately led to the decision to go about creating new student dorms. The main reason that pushed the project forward is in response to “the urgency of housing needs,” as said by Dean Murray and Dottie Hauver, VP for Administration and Finance. They continue, “We cannot wait for that plan to be complete before beginning to make some long-awaited improvements to student housing.”
The “plan” in question comes from the minds of members of the Sasaki design firm, a world-renowned firm that masters in the design of college and university campuses. While staying true to their design scheme seems to be of importance, a need for student housing has trumped that as of now.
Furthermore, these apartments would act as temporary housing for students who find themselves in dorms that are later renovated, contributing to the idea that “this is an exciting next step for the future of student housing on campus.”
I had a chance to talk to Ryan Kilcommins ‘23 who had some thoughts regarding the new exciting project. Rising seniors will not have the opportunity to experience the new living space, yet the project as a whole is still an exciting premise for students of all grades. When asked about their thoughts on this housing decision, Ryan said: “It looks like a very promising new space.” He continues: “Although I myself will not be able to live there, future upperclassmen should look out for updates on this project.” Those future updates will be coming soon to our emails, but until then we are left with the inklings of a super exciting project that marks the start of future change and development for student housing across campus.