After five years of planning and more than $35 million in donations, the Christine E. Lynn University Center will open its doors today to the Lynn community.
Thomas Heffernan, Lynn’s director of construction and sustainability, has overseen the layout and construction of the building since its inception. Throughout his 30 years at Lynn, he has always seen the students as a customer. Heffernan feels it is his role to meet expectations for students and make campus an increasingly enjoyable environment.
“This building is about bringing everyone together,” he said. “The interactions will change in the cafeteria. Commuter students, residential students, faculty and staff will be able to sit in the dining commons together whether or not they are eating.”
The building, which had its groundbreaking in April 2017, is being made possible by Christine E. Lynn and more than 100 donors. The 65,000-square foot space features three stories, which are all technologically advanced.
“It is hard to describe the building in one word, but if I had to it would be ‘heart,’” said Heffernan. “It is the heart of campus, and the heart is what makes everything tick. If you take a campus map, Gerrits [longtime Lynn construction partner] went from corner to corner [of Lynn’s landscape] and put it in the center.”
The building features Christine’s – a pub on the second floor of the building – which overlooks the lobby. The new restaurant features a menu unlike any other on campus and will be the first location on campus to sell beer and wine.
Anthony Altieri, the vice president of student affairs, will be moving his office into the new center as well.
“I believe the students are going to find that it is an inviting space with key aspects to their co-curricular experience located in close proximity to each other,” said Altieri. “Additionally, the space to socialize and enjoy campus events is spectacular – not to mention the views of campus. It really is going to be a special place for our students and university community as a whole.”
The Center for Career and Alumni Connections will move its headquarters to the second floor, alongside the Center for Student Involvement. Students will have more meeting place with the new office designated for The Knights of the Roundtable, where Knights can work and also host meetings. The floor offers spaces where organizations can have large and small private meetings.
To round out the building, the Social Impact Lab will take up residence on the third floor. The lab will have a large conference room as well as multiple smaller conference rooms for students to meet with businesses and organizations.
The new Christine E. Lynn University Center features spaces for students, staff, faculty and visitors to work, eat, learn and socialize. Following Lynn’s progressive mission, the building offers something for all.