ANDOVER, MA–Just as the dust settled on September 2017 opening festivities for the Crowe Hall Academic Building, the shovels were back in the ground on a new project. In December 2017, College President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., was joined by Board of Trustees Members, officials and colleagues for a groundbreaking ceremony kicking off construction on the Dr. Alfred L. Arcidi Welcome Center.
Longtime partner PROCON of Manchester, NH returned as the Architect and Construction Manager for the 16,000 SF two-story building.
The Dr. Alfred L. Arcidi Center will house the undergraduate and graduate admissions, the O’Brien Center for Career Development, and also provide specialty meeting spaces serving the entire campus. The center will border the recently opened Crowe Hall, and will support the college’s goal of transforming the North District into the focal point of campus.
The center’s key features will include nine interview/advising rooms, administrative offices, a student interview preparation space, a boardroom and five conference rooms. Large groups will be able to assemble in a 1,100 SF presentation room to learn about the college. The first floor lobby area was designed featuring floor-to-ceiling windows for a sophisticated first impression.
After thanking the attendees Dr. Hopey called it ‘a historic occasion.’ He elaborated saying, “It is strategically positioned here on the border of our campus looking both inward and outward. The center’s two-fold purpose is to be a visitor center offering a portal for those seeking to further their knowledge, and as an avenue to help them find their path to success.”
In a time when most small private colleges are struggling, Merrimack College’s enrollment tells a different story. According to a July, 2017 Boston Globe article “Enrollment at the college has been on the rise for the past five years – climbing by more than 60 percent from about 2,300 students in 2011 to 3,780 students last year.” Indeed, the college welcomed its second-largest freshman class in fall 2017.
The Welcome Center is expected to open in fall 2018. And, as the college’s student population rapidly grows, it will optimize their enrollment processes for the best possible “introduction” to the campus. As Dr. Hopey pointed out during the groundbreaking event, “It will provide the door for our students to enter into the wider world and the map that their future path holds.”
Merrimack College is the only Catholic Augustinian College in New England, Merrimack College is an independent, coeducational institution with more than 4,000 undergraduate, continuing education and graduate students from 34 states and 36 countries, comprising schools of liberal arts, science and engineering, health sciences, education and social policy, and business. The college’s 220-acre campus is situated approximately 25 miles north of Boston in North Andover and Andover, Massachusetts. Merrimack is a Master’s Colleges & Universities/Medium Programs institution in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.