The official ground breaking ceremony for the new St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center on the Texas A&M- Kingsville campus took place on Wednesday Oct. 3 2012. The center will consist of a 300-seat chapel and a 278-bed housing complex, and is set for further expansion.
The housing will be open for use by all TAMUK students. The Newman Center and Chapel will be operated by the Diocese and funded by the Newman Housing Fund.
“It is important for the church to serve the students on campus or the Catholic faith of students that would like to participate in the Catholic environment,” said Marty Wind, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “The Diocese has found a way to fund the building of the Catholic dorms through the Newman Housing Fund.”
Catholicism is not required to gain residency, but organizers noted that these new dorms would have a strong religious presence.
The Diocese funded construction of the Newman Center and chapel with proceeds from their recent Legacy of Faith- Future of Hope Capital and Endowment Campaign in conjunction with a grant from the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation.
“I am excited to break ground today because many of our students have expressed an interest in a spiritual living option, said Dr. Steven Tallant, President of TAMUK, “It is critically important for us to address the total needs of our students, not just their academic needs. This collaborative project brings us one step closer to honoring our commitment to our students.”
“The Diocese, University, and Newman Housing Fund have worked collaboratively to respond to the growing needs of our community, especially college students and young adults,” said Michael Mulvey D.D., Bishop of Corpus Christi,
The BOKA Powell Architects of Dallas, Texas will construct the overall site plan and Architectural design of the Center. Skinner Design Associates of Henderson, Kentucky will then design the Chapel. General contractor for the entire project will be KWA Construction of Dallas.
Construction of the Newman Center is estimated to commence by August 2013.