Fairfield College Preparatory School began construction June 18 on a new Student Life Center, which has resulted in a road block on McInnes Road between the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex and Berchmans Hall at Fairfield Prep.

When asked about Prep construction, Assistant Director of Public Safety John Ritchie recommended speaking with Prep directly as it is a separate entity.

This Center will be the result of the first of two phases of construction. According to Fairfield Prep Principal Robert Perrotta, this will be a multi-purpose facility which will include a dining/commons area, student seminar rooms and office space for student organizations.

The dining space has adequate room for 500 students and will also serve as space to host events. These functions could include parent-sponsored activities, sports dinners, faculty meetings, development events, alumni events and class reunions, according to Perrotta.

Additionally, there is space that will be the location for informal and formal meetings. Space will also be allocated as offices for the director of student discipline, director of community service and student activities as well as campus ministry.

The project’s second phase will include the construction of a staircase and elevator that will allow direct access to Prep’s lower campus from the Main Parking Lot. This phase will also consist of the construction of a Student Fitness Center above the lower roof of the Brissette Athletic Center.

While a date hasn’t officially been set, Prep hopes to begin this phase of the project in June 2016, according to Perrotta.

The $8.5 million project had to be approved by both the Fairfield University Board of Trustees and the Town of Fairfield. After initial approval was granted, construction plans were developed and submitted to the Town of Fairfield for final review and approval.

Although the construction is limited to a relatively small part of campus, students and campus visitors find the construction to be an inconvenience.

“I don’t have a car but I still think it’s really inconvenient … Especially if you have a car and live in the Village,” said Allison MacCune ‘15.

Upperclassmen are not the only students with opinions about the construction.

“My cab was 40 minutes late because he [the driver] was stuck in the wrong parking lot,” said Pino Bio ‘18.

While Yellow Cab owner Ray Longo said that he had not been informed of any construction, he referred The Fairfield Mirror to speak with Red Dot driver Zacc Shameir. Shameir said he was aware of construction, and it did pose an inconvenience.

“There’s usually a shortcut. It’s inconvenient, but not really that bad. We’ll work around it diligently.”

When asked to comment on the student reactions to Prep construction, Dean of Students Karen Donoghue said that she hadn’t heard about negative reactions. She stressed the importance of construction, stating that improving existing facilities “help illustrate we are a thriving institution”.

Commuter Monet Monterroso ‘18 was another student who expressed frustration.

“I’m a new driver so it’s inconvenient. I don’t want to bother it [the construction], but it’s in my way,” said Monterroso.

 

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