On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) held the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly-renovated McGovern Hall. Under construction since May, the first floor of the building was completely redesigned to enhance the facility and meet current and future students’ needs.
The space includes a new Jay’s Nest Café and USJ Spirit Shop, as well as an updated student lounge, the Student Government Association Office, the Student Center Office, and a workroom for clubs. Additionally, the dining hall was revamped to include seven individual stations that offer a variety of food, including made-to-order chef creations, vegan and vegetarian options, and customizable pizzas and pasta.
At the unveiling, USJ President Rhona Free thanked the many USJ employees and local businesses who made this renovation possible: Berkshire Bank, who provided financing; Oppenheimer & Co., who advised on finances; Centerbrook Architects and Planners, who designed the project; FIP Construction, who brought the vision to life; and Sodexo, who now serve as the University’s food service and school store provider.
“We designed the space for what our students need now and for our students in the next 20 years,” said President Free. “Students need their Center to be a vibrant social center with more openness and a far greater variety of seating, meeting spaces, and recreational opportunities. This renovation has accomplished exactly what was hoped for, and more.”
A few days into the semester, students certainly agree. According to Shelby Cios ’22, “With so much space now, it’s easier to have club meetings and study with friends on this side of campus. Plus, we’re all really excited for the new Jay’s Nest, which offers really good food.”
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