The Opus Group has begun construction on a first-year residence hall at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, that will include 480 beds for incoming students. The five-story building will be located in the upper quadrant of the St. Paul campus and offer pods of double occupancy rooms with a shared bathroom area. The entire hall will total 210,000 square feet.
The first floor will offer a range of amenities for all students and staff on campus to use, including a food service kitchen and dining areas, two classrooms, flex space for larger gatherings, a club room, game room and a cooking-on-display area. There will also be two resident apartments for faculty or resident directors on the first level.
Stadium stairs will be located between levels one and two, offering lounge and entertainment areas. Levels two through five will provide secure access for hall residents and each floor will include resident rooms, study rooms, lounges and common spaces. Lastly, the new residence hall will offer underground parking that includes 115 stalls and 170 bike racks for students as well as those visiting the nearby chapel and other campus guests.
Located on the corner of Selby Avenue and Cleveland Avenue, the new residence hall facade will consist of red brick and limestone, a blend of both existing academic and residential architectural vocabulary from across campus. Opus’ design for the facility respects the architectural and historical significance of the adjacent chapel by maintaining a clear sightline to the chapel from Cleveland Avenue. Once complete, the development will offer underground pedestrian tunnel connections to additional residence halls, the chapel and academic buildings.
In addition to the first-year student residence, Opus is renovating the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas and expanding it with the Iversen Center for Faith. The chapel renovation will be complete before the start of the fall 2019 semester, and the Iversen Center for Faith is expected to be complete in February 2020. Furthermore, Opus is updating Ireland Hall, another student residence on campus, this summer. Opus has a long history of academic and residential projects with the University of St. Thomas, including the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, Anderson Student Center and the renovation of Murray Herrick Hall.
Opus is the design-builder, the architect and engineer of record, and interior designer on this project. The project is scheduled for July 2020 completion.