After ten years of planning and two years of construction, the stunning Thomas E. Golden, Jr. Center opened in December 2006. More than just a beautiful building, it is a statement that Catholic life has come of age on campus.
This new center was designed by Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli in New Haven. As a world renowned architect and former Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, his involvement guaranteed a stunning building that is a source of pride for generations to come. The center was built by Petra Construction Corporation of North Haven. Directly across from the Pierson gateway, the front entrance piazza features three interlocking circles symbolizing the Trinity with the hope that students grow in a deeper spiritual life when they come to the activities of the center.
Upon entering the building, one immediately sees an inner sky lit courtyard that serves as the functional hub between the chapel and center. The room opens to a small interior garden surrounding the tomb of Father Riggs. Accessible up a ramp from the courtyard, a round meditation room with small colored glass windows and a black slate floor is available for prayer and reflection. One student referred to it as “a moment of sanity in the midst of the noise of campus.” The chaplains’ offices and offices for the director of music and the administrative assistant are up the stairs to the right facing Park Street. The stairs and a chair lift make these offices accessible to all.
Walking down the hallway, on a floor of green Vermont slate, the lecture hall, which accommodates 250 people, is on the right. At the end of the corridor is the dining hall that seats 125 individuals at tables and bistro-style seating. A full kitchen and student lounge are adjacent to the dining hall.
Administrative offices located on the second floor provide a work space for seven members of the pastoral team. On this level, there are also two seminar rooms, a library and reading room with a gas fireplace.
On the lower level, designated as “student only space,” is the recreation room and two additional seminar rooms. The office of the facilities manager is located off the elevator. The walls of the hallway are available for student art.
It is with great joy therefore, on behalf of the board of trustees and the entire pastoral team, we welcome you to the Thomas E. Golden, Jr. Center.