Dominican Center
The school's newly acquired Dominican Center

by Amy Rice

Most everyone who is a part of the Mount Saint Mary College community is aware of the gorgeous and large building overlooking campus officially called the Dominican Center after the Dominican Sisters of Hope. Earlier this year, Mount Saint Mary College purchased the building, affectionately referred to as the Motherhouse, with plans to transform it into a “learning-living center”. This two year project will involve reorganizing and revitalizing all of campus to create a higher functioning and efficient environment for present and future students. Plans are suspected to be concluded after the next two years and will include twenty-four hour library rooms, dorm-room housing on the upper floors, and Mount Saint Mary College’s own student center.

Many rumors have been circulating about what Mount Saint Mary College has in store for the Motherhouse, but the plans are much grander than anyone would suspect. The Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Iris Turkenkopf, explained that the Motherhouse will become a “living-learning center.” The building will provide the enjoyment of living on campus with easy access to MSMC’s greatest resources.

The first two floors of the Motherhouse will simplify living for the residents of the building, but will also be accessible to any student on campus. The first floor will provide a limited dining facility for snacks, lunch, or “to-go” treats for all of those studying in the library and living upstairs. Dr. Turkenkopf explained the second floor as the “learning commons.” The learning commons will contain all of the stacks and computers that are currently located in the Aquinas Library, not to mention the addition of a professionally staffed writing center, the relocation of the Center for Student Success, collaboration rooms, a twenty-four hour library room, and adequate additional seating for students to relax in a more comfortable environment. This new and improved library will be designed to meet all of the students’ needs at any time of the year.

The top three floors of the Motherhouse will be designed for upperclassmen only, providing dorm rooms with access to beautiful scenery looking over the Hudson. Dr. Turkenkopf described this new building as a place where “students can work with each other.” The convenient arrangement of this new building will provide students not only easy access to snacks and the library, but also each other to meet for study sessions or to take a break from their busy days.

The new addition of the Motherhouse will also improve already familiar aspects of the MSMC campus. Dr. Turkenkopf explained that the goal is to “create divisional identity and strengthen academic success.” Most of the divisions on campus are spread throughout buildings or share their space with another divisions. The library that we all know in Aquinas will be moved into the Motherhouse. The curriculum library currently located in Hudson Hall will be moved into the area where the Aquinas Library now stands, as well as the Arts and Letters, Education, and tentatively the Business division. This will not only create a better division of the majors within campus, but will also open up Hudson Hall for the formation of a student center where students will be able to enjoy food, and attend their campus activities.

Unfortunately this project will not be completed for approximately two years, but it is something for prospective freshmen, current freshmen, and sophomores to look forward to. This addition to campus will create the opportunity for many positive and exciting years in the Mount’s future!