(The articles and photos on this page are excerpted from the Spring 2019 edition of The Catholic University of America magazine. For more articles and photos celebrating the opening of Maloney Hall, visit the magazine's website.)
Just days after the newly renovated Maloney Hall opened to students of the Busch School of Business this spring, senior finance major Michael Corado could already detect a new sense of community.
“It’s exciting to see all of my professors and classmates working together in one area,” Corado said. “This gives us an actual space in the business school to brainstorm and think.”
“I just feel like in here, I can be with all of my friends,” said junior marketing major Katie O’Neil. “There’s finally going to be a space where all of us studying business can work and focus in the same spaces instead of being spread out across campus.”
One of the main goals for the renovation project, according to Bill Bowman, professor of entrepreneurship and emeritus dean, was to create an environment similar to the future business workplaces where students will find themselves.
“We took groups of people out to look at different corporations to see what their offices look like,” Bowman said.
One of the challenges of renovating the 101-year-old Maloney Hall, said architect Brian Pilot, M.Arch 1997, of Studios Architecture, was making the most of the building’s long, narrow shape. Thanks to glass walls, raised attic ceilings, and careful space-saving designs, his team managed to carve out nine light-filled classrooms, nearly 40 offices, conference rooms with collapsible glass walls, 20 “touchdown” rooms where teams can meet for discussions and class projects, as well as the St. Michael Chapel, a space for spiritual reflection.
Early on in the spring semester, sophomores Emma Dodson and Madison Jasick, both international economics and finance majors, were already taking advantage of the new team rooms, as they studied together between classes. They were impressed by the new technology and the building’s professional design.
“It doesn’t feel like school and classrooms anymore,” said Dodson. “It seems like the layout and the glass walls encourage students to collaborate.”
“I think students are going to take their work more seriously while they’re here,” said Jasick. “When I’m here, I want to put my best foot forward.”
Chris Saxton, B.S. 2009, has clear memories of what Maloney Hall used to look like. As a civil engineering major, he had a regular practice of cutting through the “dungeon-like” basement to avoid the rain while walking back and forth to Pangborn Hall. And during his first year, Saxton took an Introduction to Chemistry course in the building’s auditorium.
“It was a massive room with no acoustics, so you couldn’t really hear anything well if you sat more than a few rows back,” he said.
Saxton could never have predicted the role he would one day play in renovating the now 101-year-old building to be the new home for the Busch School of Business. As a project manager for Whiting-Turner Construction, Saxton began working on Maloney Hall renovations in February 2017. After that, he was involved at every step of the way, whether it meant tearing down walls, raising ceilings, or bringing hidden architectural features back to their intended glory.
Saxton is just one of several Catholic University alumni who worked on the Whiting-Turner renovation team. Civil Engineering majors Rachel Hutton, B.S. 2014, and Nick Carneglia, B.S. 2017, also worked on the project — Hutton as assistant project manager and Carneglia as a project engineer.
Like Saxton, Hutton remembers the former life of Maloney Hall. She took chemistry and theology classes in the auditorium before the building closed in 2015.
“It was really old and a lot of the seats were broken,” she said. “I used to look up at the ceiling in the auditorium and think, ‘What a shame, this could be so beautiful'.”
Being back on Catholic University’s campus, where she has good memories of learning and meeting her husband, has been fun for Hutton. She hopes to pass on the love she feels for the University through the work she has done.
“I think it was important to have alumni helping to build this building and putting their positive experiences and their love of Catholic University into this,” she said. “We want to do a good job not just because of our work at Whiting-Turner, but because this is our home too. We want to treat it well and have it be a positive representative of our school to the world.”
— Katie Bahr, Assistant Director of Communications and Media Relations. Bahr can be reached at email@example.com.