Officials from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the Newman Student Housing Fund broke Oct. 3 for the new St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center and Chapel as well as a new 278-bed housing complex on property adjacent to the university campus. 

Construction of the Newman Center and 300-seat chapel is being funded by the diocese with proceeds from their Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope Capital & Endowment Campaign in conjunction with a grant from the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation.  The Diocese will operate the Newman Center and Chapel. 

The Newman Student Housing fund, a limited liability company formed to construct student housing for the Catholic Church, is funding construction of, and will operate, the new Catholic housing complex that is set to initially serve 278 students, with plans for future expansion.  The housing will be open for use by all students of the university. 

Dr. Steven Tallant, President of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, said he was excited to break ground because many of the school’s students have expressed an interest in a spiritual living option. 

“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,” Tallant said. 

Completion of the complex is expected in August 2013, in time for the fall semester. 

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey hailed the project as a great undertaking saying, “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.  This unified effort of serving our young people is an expression of our desire to support and form young men and women in faith, so they may serve God and their neighbor now and in the future.” 

With the completion of this project, Texas A&M-Kingsville will become one of only two public universities in the country and the first in Texas to include a residential component to their Catholic Newman Center.

Matthew Zerrusen with the Newman Student Housing Fund asked students to visit and pray at the construction site over the next year.