On Oct. 15, Saint Leo University had its official opening ceremony for its new academic building, Kirk Hall. Kirk Hall is the 11th new building constructed at Saint Leo University in the past 13 years.
As the school continues to expand, it makes sure to keep its focus inwards towards its own students by creating new, state of the art learning facilities for them. With the Donald R. Tapia School of Business at its left, the school decided that they wanted something new for students outside of the business majors too. Kirk Hall was the response. It has been opened as the counterpart of the school of business, geared towards liberal arts majors.
The namesake of the building, former University President Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., was grateful for this honor bestowed on him by the school. But he was even more grateful that this new academic facility was geared towards another valuable asset of the school.
“It is a tremendous honor, but the greatest thing from my perspective is that this is a building for the students.” He went on to note the striking difference between Saint Leo and other universities he had visited. “The vast majority of academic buildings at campuses throughout the country have no places for students when they’re not in class or they’re not in the faculty rooms. And it drove me crazy for years. I’d go through colleges and into their academic buildings and walk up the stairs and there’d be students sitting in the stairwell, and lounging on concrete steps because there was no place else for them.”
The building is three stories tall, with distinct landscaping, and 21st century classrooms that have ample technological tools for learning. It seems to be popular among the students too.
“The building is really nice. It is really lively and great. It’s a very interactive place,” said Jonathan Shoemaker, a sophomore student worker.
“It is very modern and open to light,” said Maria Gonzalez, another sophomore student.
The faculty have high hopes for the building in the coming years. Dr. William J. Lennox, Jr., our new University President, was very pleased with the advent of Kirk Hall. From what he has seen so far, he is more than impressed with it.
“The building’s great. It accomplished everything that we designed it for. What I love about it is that the students feel at home here. They come, they sit down, they study, and they talk and enjoy it. And that’s what it’s all about.”
As the President Emeritus and Dr. Lennox both hoped for, Kirk Hall certainly does seem to be a promising new place for students. The Learning Resource Center (LRC) has moved downstairs, into the large, well-lit ground floor of the building and is filled with busy students all day. It is a great, low stress place to go and knock out some homework. It is difficult not to agree with Mr. Dennis Mullen, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Saint Leo, when he said that “this building represents the greatness of its namesake.”