ATCHISON — Following an All Saints Day school Mass celebrated by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann on Nov. 1, Benedictine College officials here held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new men’s residence hall that will occupy the site of the old Atchison Hospital on North Second St. in Atchison. The new hall will be three stories, approximately 40,000 square feet and will house 152 sophomore and junior men. It is scheduled for completion in time for use in the fall of 2012.
“This residence hall will stand here on the ground of the former Atchison Hospital as a testament to the growth of the college and the foresight of the hospital board who donated this land and other buildings to us just two short years ago,” said Stephen D. Minnis, president of Benedictine.
Along with the archbishop, other dignitaries taking part in the ceremony were: John Jacobson, the CEO of Atchison Hospital; Abbot Barnabas Senecal, OSB, of St. Benedict’s Abbey; Sister Anne Shepard, OSB, prioress of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery; Jim O’Brien, chairman of the Benedictine College board of directors; Ernie Straub, owner of Straub Construction, the general contractor; Micah Kimball, of Treanor Architects, the firm that designed the facility; Linda Henry, vice president of student life; and Ron Olinger, Benedictine’s chief financial officer. Freshman class president Alex Engelkamp also spoke at the ceremony and turned a shovel of dirt. He was representing the group of students who will be sophomores and will be some of the first residents when the facility is completed.
The new facility will be the eighth new residence hall opened on the Atchison campus since the long-abandoned Freshman Hall was renovated into Ferrell Hall in 2000. The college is also nearing completion of the 58,000-square- foot Academic Center on the top of the bluff. That facility will house the School of Business and the departments of theology, philosophy, and sociology and criminology. It is also scheduled for use next fall.