Saint Martin’s University breaks ground on new residence hall

July 10, 2007

Lacey, WA – Saint Martin’s University broke ground on its new residence hall and announced that the building will be named the Ken F. and Gale L. Parsons, Sr. Residence Hall in honor of the Parsons family’s long-time commitment to Saint Martin’s as volunteers and financial supporters. Mr. Parsons, chairman of Venture Financial Group, is a member of Saint Martin’s Board of Trustees and has served one term as its board chairman.

“This is a real honor for us,” Parsons said. “Education is one of our family’s highest priorities and Saint Martin’s has been a significant presence in our community providing education to traditional and non-traditional students.”

University President, Douglas Astolfi commented, “Ken and Gale have demonstrated significant leadership to Saint Martin’s not only in their philanthropic support but also in their wise counsel over the years. We are grateful and honored that Saint Martin’s is among their top priorities.”

The University will host a larger celebration when it formally dedicates the building in the fall of 2008.

Parsons Hall, a 67,000 square foot structure, will house 262 freshmen and sophomores in a variety of living accommodations. The sophomore wing offers single and double room suites with shared baths, and the freshman wing offers two-bed suites that share common down-the-hall baths. 159 surface parking spaces will be built adjacent to the building. Other building amenities include a large community lounge and kitchen, espresso cafe, computer lab, fitness room, conference room, laundry room and housing staff offices.

Mithun Partners designed Parsons Hall and Lorig Associates are providing project management services.

Parsons Hall is one of two new buildings planned for the Lacey campus as a result of Saint Martin’s University securing a $36 million bond financing with assistance from the Higher Education Facilities Authority. The second facility will be a new 20,000 square foot academic building to provide much-needed classroom space as well as engineering labs for Saint Martin’s growing student population. Both buildings are designed in coordination with Saint Martin’s campus master plan and will complement existing campus buildings and architecture.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Anne Kirske
Interim communication director
Saint Martin’s University