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Groundbreaking for newest residence hall at Saint Xavier University

Building designed with environmentally friendly elements

Chicago (Jan. 9, 2006) – Saint Xavier University officials on Monday broke ground for a new $9 million, 37,000-square-foot residence hall that incorporates many environmentally friendly design elements, including a green roof over 10 percent of the surface.

It is the first such university residence hall to be built in the greater Chicago area to be certified under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) “green building” system, and one of only two currently under construction in the entire state of Illinois. “Green building” projects incorporate water and energy efficiency, using recycled and rapidly renewable materials, and maximizing the quality of the indoor environment.

“The motivation and reasons for implementing green buildings are diverse but can be condensed into essentially wanting to do the right thing to protect the earth’s natural resources,” said Paul J. Matthews, assistant vice president for facilities management at Saint Xavier University.

The hall’s environmentally friendly design earned it a $90,400 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Measures include “green roof” features to dissipate heat, an energy efficient lighting system; a building control system that reduces energy consumption and increases indoor air quality; a ventilation system that brings in outside air for free cooling; an energy recovery system that captures heat from exhaust ventilation; energy efficient double pane windows; and high-efficiency thermal insulation systems for the roof and walls.

The new residence hall will allow Saint Xavier University to keep up with growing demand for on-campus housing.

“This residence hall represents evidence of the university’s continued growth and strength as a Catholic, coeducational, comprehensive university,” said Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D., president of Saint Xavier University. “With more than 5,700 students at campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, this new building will enable us to welcome 88 additional students to live on campus.”

The five-story building will feature a colonnade connecting the new residence hall to McCarthy Hall and will overlook the Schmitt Quad. It will house apartment-style rooms, including six one-bedroom units. The remainder will be two-bedroom units.

The new residence hall will bring the total number of students living on Saint Xavier University’s campus to 668. “This third new residence hall built on the campus within five years demonstrates the commitment of the university to increase its resident student population. Quality student housing and a vibrant campus life are critical steps to sustaining academic excellence,” said John Pelrine, vice president of student services at Saint Xavier University.

Construction of the new residence hall will be completed in August 2006, in time for the fall semester. The builder is Henry Bros. Construction and the architect is Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Associates.

“This beautiful new residence hall will help Saint Xavier University meet the rising demand for the highest quality student residences. Our record enrollment has created a need for more places to live on campus,” said Steven Murphy, vice president of university advancement at Saint Xavier University.

In addition to Dwyer, Murphy, Pelrine and Matthews, those present at Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony included Sister Joy Clough, RSM, vice chair of the Board of Trustees and President of the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Chicago; Trustees R. Scott Appleby, Sister Lois Graver RSM, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John R. Gorman, Mary Clare Loftus, Kenneth Skopec, C. Carney Strange and Thomas Chomicz; Susan  Piros, vice president of business and finance at Saint Xavier University; student representative Efrain Vargas; George Ferrell and Bill Callaghan from Henry Bros.; and Jim Curtin, Kyle Kim and Jim Cagnina from Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Associates.  


Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3325
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp