Worcester State Breaks Ground on New Residence Hall
Friday, March 22, 2013
The new building—scheduled to be ready for occupancy at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester—will add approximately 10 percent to the University’s on-campus housing capacity. It will also contain a new state of the art dining facility capable of seating 575 diners. Sheehan Hall will be the fourth residential complex on the WSU campus, joining Wasylean and Dowden Halls, and the Chandler Village.
Positioned on the hillside above the Coughlin Athletic Field, the new residential facility will serve as a clear anchor to the residential area of the campus, offering a panoramic view of the university grounds and create a pedestrian core integrating all of the residential buildings.
“With this new residence hall, we will be able to foster a new living-learning environment for all of our campus residents,” stated Dr. Sibyl M. Brownlee, WSU Vice President for Student Affairs.
The new hall is named for Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan, USMC (ret.), a 1955 Worcester State Teachers College graduate. Lt. Col. Sheehan has provided $3.6 million in support to Worcester State. His support underwrites scholarship and other support of students exhibiting academic excellence, and includes pledged support for a new WSU Honors College and support of international study.
In a letter to President Barry M. Maloney, Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner Dr. Richard M. Freeland offered his congratulations and stated that Col. Sheehan’s support, “is a truly magnificent achievement for Worcester State and . . . as a testament to his loyalty and gratitude toward the college.”
The bulk of Sheehan's Hall $60 million budget is financed through the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA). In addition to this financing, further funding support for the building has been raised by the University.
WSU President Maloney noted that the new residential facility will significantly enhance the student life experience of the campus.
“It will provide a quality collegiate housing option for our undergraduate students and permit us to launch a guaranteed housing option for our student body,” stated Maloney.
“When Sheehan Hall is completed in August 2014, two out of every five of our students will be housed here on campus—and we know that residential students will both add vitality to our campus community and positively affect our retention and completion rates.”
WSU has been actively pursuing efforts to raise its 6-year graduation rate and recently released data that it has successfully improved that rate by nearly six percent to 51 percent over a two-year period.
Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew Malone, together with President Maloney, headlined the dignitaries attending the ceremony. Others bringing greetings included State Senators Harriette L. Chandler—whose district includes WSU—and Michael O. Moore—chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee; State Representative John J. Mahoney—whose district also includes the University; WSU Board of Trustees Chairman John P. Brissette; James T. Morris, chairman of the MSCBA; Greg Coady, Executive Vice President of Chartwells; and WSU Student Government Association President Trevor J. Sansoucy.
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