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July, 2019

Vacant Building in Heart of Campus Comes Back Online

By Hugh Biggar

The completely refurbished interior of Keane Auditorium within McGivney Hall.

With the start of the fall semester, one prominent building on the Catholic University campus has a new name and look, and a second building will soon set new standards for environmental sustainability.

Fifty-year-old Keane Hall is now McGivney Hall and will formally be dedicated in a Monday, Sept. 8, ceremony that begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. McGivney, a five-story limestone building on CUA’s central mall, has had its interior transformed. The building, used for storage since 1995 and once home to the physics department and parts of the law school, has had its interior walls, insulation and electrical and mechanical systems gutted and replaced.

The building now boasts four classrooms, the 120-seat Keane Auditorium (retaining the name Keane in honor of CUA’s first rector, Archbishop John Joseph Keane), office space and a major new tenant.

The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, a graduate school of theology affiliated with both CUA and the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, now calls the building home. The institute had previously been housed across Michigan Avenue from the main campus.

McGivney Hall receives its new name from the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Rev. Michael J. McGivney, in gratitude for an $8 million gift from the Knights that made the renovations possible.

Construction work is progressing on Opus Hall, which is scheduled to open in fall 2009.

The CUA campus is also in the midst of completing the innovative Opus Hall located on the west side of John McCormack Road, next to Flather Hall. The new $25 million, 400-student residence hall will be completed in spring 2009 and open in the fall. It will combine state-of-the-art amenities with a traditional collegiate-gothic style design (similar to that of Gibbons Hall), centered on a tower with two flanking wings. At present, the exterior of the building is being completed and work crews are doing the interior finishes (e.g., drywalling, painting and installing fixtures).

Opus Hall will become the first building on campus to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance “green” buildings. The building’s increased energy efficiency will also make it less expensive to operate than other residence halls.

In addition, the residence hall will be community friendly, featuring gathering spaces such as stairway window seats and a first-floor living room. The name Opus Hall recognizes a $3 million gift for the building project from Neil J. Rauenhorst, his wife, Becky, and the Opus Group, a real estate development company. Neil Rauenhorst is a 1976 graduate of the university’s School of Architecture and Planning and a member of CUA’s Board of Trustees.

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Last Revised 22-Aug-08 01:14 PM.