Marymount University has opened Rose Benté Lee Ostapenko Hall, its new residential building that houses 239 juniors and seniors. Lee Ostapenko Hall is part of Marymount’s 26th Street project, which also includes an underground parking garage and an academic building named Caruthers Hall, which will open for classes in January.
By late afternoon on Saturday, October 2, a moving company had already transferred the belongings of the new building’s residents, who had been housed at the Holiday Inn in Ballston since the start of the fall semester. Gathered under a pavilion across from their new dorm, the students waited excitedly for 5 p.m., when the tape was dropped and they were allowed to cross the pedestrian bridge to the building and see their apartments for the first time.
Marymount Vice President for Student Development Dr. Chris Domes says, “The excitement had been building all day. What the students didn’t know was that the furniture assembly was happening at the same time as their boxes were being moved in. In fact, the last bed was assembled at 4:15 p.m.!”
Senior Melanie Cope of Fresh Meadows, NY, is an Information Technology major and a resident assistant in Lee Ostapenko Hall. She said that she was “thrilled” to be moving in to the new building, noting, “It’s great to be back on campus!” Tancy Weatherford of Alexandria, VA, a junior majoring in Business Administration, added, “I’d seen pictures of this, but now it’s real and we’re here!”
Each apartment in Lee Ostapenko Hall houses either four or five students and has a common area with living room furniture, dining table, and kitchen; two bathrooms; and two or three bedrooms. The double bedrooms are “semi-private,” meaning that a partial wall divides each room into separate sleeping areas, affording the residents additional privacy. The building also provides study lounges, meeting rooms, a fitness center, and laundry facilities. The building’s residents will park in the new garage underneath.
Expectations ran high on move-in day, and the new facilities did not disappoint. Senior Evan Greco, a Criminal Justice Major from Atlantic City, NJ, remarked, “I’m really, really impressed; this is great!” Small things made a big impression: Students commented on the microwave ovens and the comfortable mattresses with a choice of firm or cushioned sides.
Examining their new kitchens, many of the students immediately thought about cooking. Senior Christian Carpenter, a History major from Severn, MD, was planning to make dinner for friends coming over the next day to watch a Redskins game. He said, “We’ll have chicken, fried rice, and lots of side dishes!”
Resident Assistant Vinay Dhanaraj ’12, a Health Sciences major from Silver Spring, MD, laughingly pointed out a minor concern: “People are going to like their apartments so much, they won’t want to leave! I guess that’s a good problem to have…unless you have to go to class.”
Marymount President James E. Bundschuh and his wife, Lois, joined the students for their first night in Lee Ostapenko Hall, staying in a guest suite. Dr. Bundschuh reflects, “It was really fun; the students’ enthusiasm was contagious.”
Dr. Bundschuh says, “When we arrived, one of the resident assistants gave us a tour and showed us how everything worked. She was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the building, it seemed like she had been living there for years!” He adds, “Everyone, from students to staff, is so excited to have this magnificent building completed, and I’m pleased to say that the move-in process went very smoothly.”
Emily McCann ’11, a Communications major from Albany, NY, is already planning to welcome visitors. She says, “When I have guests from home, I’ll be proud of my apartment.” Melanie Cope agrees, saying, “What’s great is that it’s all brand new! I’m so excited to be living here.”
PHOTO CAPTIONS AND HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES
1 - Dr. Chris Domes (right), vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Management, leads the way across the pedestrian bridge to Lee Ostapenko Hall. (high-resolution image
2 – Some parents are on hand to help out and see their students’ new Marymount home. (high-resolution image