On July 14, 2022, Josh LaBella of The Fairfield Citizen wrote in the CT Insider and Connecticut Post an article titled “Fairfield University plans to build new sophomore dorm,” deconstructing a long-circling rumor that the University would indeed be breaking ground on a new residence hall, taking inspiration from the namesake of Regis Hall. 

According to LaBella, the residence hall will house sophomores and will be called “Regis West.” 

On July 28, 2022, LaBella posted an update via the same sources, going through the logistics of the University’s appeal to create the new residence hall. 

In order to begin construction of the wing, the University had multiple hurdles to cross before the process could start. According to the Town of Fairfield Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting minutes from their April 7, 2022 meeting Attorney John Fallon spoke alongside Fairfield University’s Vice President of Facilities David Frassinelli in order to revise previous plans for the building. 

In the meeting’s minutes, the pair’s presentation states that “The original application asked for a variance to allow the height of the new structure to be 56 feet with a total of five (5) stories.” This application, if approved, would have allowed Fairfield University to begin building a “203-bed, new student residence hall in the residential quadrangle area of the campus.” 

After meeting with residents and neighbors of the surrounding area, however, Frassinelli and Fallon revised the terms of the plan in order to accommodate for light pollution facing Round Hill Road. “They have reduced the number of stories from five (5) to four (4), and they’ve reduced the proposed height variance from 56 ft. to 46 ft., and have committed themselves to other significant modifications that should be made conditions of approval,” Fallon and Frassinelli stated, presenting to the Zoning Board of Appeals. 

As part of the approval process, the Zoning Board of Appeals granted Fairfield University the ability to go ahead with the project, under four conditions: first, “an 8 ft. berm and 16 ft. arborvitaes will be planted,” secondly “Removal of 200-400, 16-18 ft. light poles to be replaced with 51 watt, 12 ft. poles,” third “Trees will be planted every 50 ft. on the Round Hill Road side of the berm,” and finally, “Lights in the dorm rooms will be placed on the inside face of the wall.” 

Before concluding, the ZBA’s minutes stated that four neighbors that were in opposition of the building were at the meeting, while others opted to send letters to the ZBA regarding their stance on the new facility. 

With the university preparing for “controlled growth of undergraduate enrollment to approximately 5000” according to Frassinelli’s presentation to the ZBA, action on the new residence hall has begun, with the removal of trees from the western property line of Fairfield University. 

As construction has broken ground, Regis Hall residents have shown mixed emotions about the process and how it might be affecting them on a daily basis.

One first-year student, Nicholas Hark’s course schedule makes it so that noise created by the construction does not bother him. “Personally, it’s not that much of a problem to myself because four of the five days of the week, I have 8 a.m. classes,” Hark stated.

However, Hark also pointed out a glaring issue to students living adjacent to the construction, clarifying “…also, in Regis, because there is no air conditioning, almost everyone leaves the windows open all the time. So that also makes the noise much harder to deal with.”

Additionally, Justin Showaniec ‘26 shared a similar sentiment stating that “I honestly haven’t been affected at all, I feel like I have definitely heard people on the other side of the hall who are closer to the action and have definitely been woken up to it and heard it.”

Some actually found utility in the construction. 

“…I mean, it starts at 7 a.m., so sometimes it is helpful when you have an 8 a.m. to get to,” Lauren Cunneen ‘26 stated. “I think it is okay, because they do a lot of hard work out there,” she continued. 

The noise, however, tends to frustrate other residents. “Sometimes when we have classes at 11 a.m. or noon, it’s kinda like, I want to sleep in,” Marina Chiaro ‘26 explained.

Some residents also realized that the building’s construction may take some time, but still, the lack of a nice view outside of their room’s window could be a cause for concern. 

“It’s not the prettiest,” Liv Giglio-Dirga ‘26 mentioned. “It’s not great, but it’s not, like, horrible,” she continued, referencing the construction noises each day. 

According to the same reporting by LaBella in the Connecticut Post, multiple residents of Round Hill Road were not consulted at all, one of them being Jeff Cramer. LaBella reports that “meetings took place between the University and the two neighbors that would be most severely impacted.”

Frassinelli commented to The Mirror on the timetable of the construction project, stating it will be done in August 2023.

 He additionally confirmed that the residence hall will be housing sophomore students corroborating the Connecticut Post article by LaBella. 

With regards to the appearance of the residence hall itself, Frassinelli states that it will be architecturally designed “more like [42] Langguth [Road] with suites.” To conclude his and Fallon’s presentation to the ZBA, the minutes state that “The new residence hall has been sensitively architecturally designed to ensure that it will be attractive, unobtrusive and harmonize with the existing buildings on campus.” 

Unlike the connected hallways of 70 McCormick Road and Campion Hall, Frassinelli continued that Regis West would not be connected to Regis Hall itself and would instead be a standalone building.

When asked if there are any further construction projects on the horizon, Frassinelli stated, “Not at this time.” 

The Mirror will continue to report on this project and any future projects being worked on around campus.

About The Author

-- Senior I Editor-in-Chief I Marketing --

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.