The Xaverian Commons


The infrastructure plans to expand StFX's campus

The StFX campus has been undergoing many changes lately, and as students, faculty and community members watch the development, it is safe to say the future will sure be different for the university. To be specific, some may have noticed, there is a large mound of dirt where Nicholson Hall used to be. In late July, the historic building was demolished and crews began prepping the site for one of our most ambitious structural projects since the construction of the Keating Centre.

StFX is building a state-of-the-art academic facility, aptly named the Mulroney Institute of Government due to Brian Mulroney’s generous contributions. Brian Mulroney a former Prime Minister of Canada and, arguably more prestigious, a StFX graduate. The first sod-turning and unveiling of the blueprints takes place on September 20th so the Xaverian Weekly will have that covered in detail for a later issue. An even bigger project has been alluded by StFX administration:

It is called the “Xaverian Commons”. It is a multi-million dollar long term reconstruction plan being implemented throughout StFX’s upper campus. The first step is Mulroney Hall, but there are several more. The second step is the demolition of Lane Hall, which if you are a former or current Pitbull, you have probably caught wind of. This is Lane Hall’s final year before the building is taken down and converted into a high-tech academic building. Although it may be hard to lose all that nostalgia, in the grand scheme of things, Lane Hall could use a couple touch-ups. Take one last stroll through those dimly lit hallways and visit your old room because it will all change relatively soon.

The third major renovation taking place on StFX’s upper campus is the total redesign of Nicholson Tower. With the absence of Nicholson Hall it seemed like it was only time until the Tower followed suit. This is a slightly more complicated project due to the nature of the building, therefore, it may take some time, but the end result is guaranteed to be impressive. Nicholson Tower currently holds the record in Antigonish for being the tallest building. It is not exactly the prettiest building, however. Imagine a beautiful modern tower standing tall in the middle of town. I’m sure our professors are gladly welcoming this change. This tower will demonstrate that StFX is moving forward and ready to make serious changes to better our quality of education.

The fourth and final project of the “Xaverian Commons” is the long-awaited destruction of the Annex. StFX plans to convert space where the Annex sits on top of into an open public landscape. The Annex’s facilities will likely be updated and moved to a newer building. This open space will allow students to have an outdoor area on the top of that hill where they can relax and talk.

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We spoke with Andrew Beckett, StFX Vice President of Finance and Administration, and he explained why the “Xaverian Commons” plan is so important. When asking him about the financial aspects he told us that “due to the generous contributions and government funding, StFX will not be incurring any new debt because of these buildings. Tuition will not be changed in any unforeseen manor either.” He was very excited to talk to us about smaller details and even went to the length of giving us a sneak-peek of what Mulroney Hall will look like. A smile appeared on his face when he told us that “this is going to change the face of StFX”. So, whether you are a first year or fourth, you should be excited about the future of StFX. Again, the sod-turning of Mulroney Hall takes place on September 20th and any curious students should come by and experience this moment. The Xaverian Weekly will continue to inform readers about StFX’s growing campus.