The Catholic University of America

Jan. 8, 2009

Catholic University Students Move Into New Opus Hall

Junior Stacie Goddard, left, is helped by her father, Rand Goddard, right, while moving into the recently opened Opus Hall.

Catholic University students moved this past weekend into CUA's new Opus Hall - the first LEED-compliant residence hall among colleges and universities in Washington, D.C. -in preparation for the start of classes on Monday, Jan. 12.

In keeping with its environmental sustainability efforts, CUA is pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of the residential facility. The certification is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance "green" buildings.

Ground was broken for the residence hall just under two years ago. Located in the campus's northeast corner on the west side of John McCormack Road, just south of Taylor Street, Opus Hall will house about 400 students.

Plans call for building a second residence hall adjacent to Opus Hall and demolishing student residence halls currently located on the university's South Campus to make way for development.

Each suite within the building consists of one double and three single bedrooms, a common living room, double sink, lavatory and shower. Each floor boasts an expansive kitchen and common area. Hard-wired data, cable TV and phone jacks are provided in each bedroom, and cable TV and phone jacks are available in the common living area.

CUA students Jack Mauro, left, and Will Heckmueller, center, move into Opus Hall.
Student residents will have access to a large community/lounge space including a fireplace, a "contemplative space" for small prayer groups and other quiet individual and small-group activities, a central laundry and study area, and a 2,100-square-foot outdoor terrace.

The emphasis on common spaces in the building's design incorporates input provided by students to a survey conducted by the Office of Housing Services.

"The Catholic University of America is growing in size and stature as the national university of the Catholic Church in America," said Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president. "This growth is evidenced by our need to provide additional housing opportunities for the many new and continuing students who desire to take advantage of this great educational opportunity, set in our nation's capital, and grounded in the ideals and values of the Catholic faith."