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New academic wing opens at O’Connell

First slide

Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington is opening a brand-new, three-story building this fall. This academic wing is named Kimmitt Hall in honor of J. Stanley and Eunice Kimmitt and their sacrifices to support Catholic education for seven of their children who attended O’Connell between 1962 and 1973.

The 29,000 square-foot facility includes 14 classrooms, three faculty workrooms, several collaborative workspaces, student lockers, lounge seating and restrooms. The wing has environmentally friendly features including green roofs, a computer-controlled building management system and a water management system to help control water runoff.

For the 2021-22 school year, students in all four grades may find their religion, English or social studies classes in Kimmitt Hall. The classrooms vary in shape and sizes, with one large flexible space that can serve as a seminar room or be divided into two standard-sized classrooms. The building sits on the north side of campus and provides views over the central campus green space, and to both the tranquil neighborhood on one side and the recently turfed baseball field on the other.

At the heart of this new wing is the beautiful new Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, which was dedicated and blessed by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge earlier this summer. Adjacent to the chapel on the first floor of Kimmitt Hall is the Murphy Center for Campus Ministry, along with its Café Vaticano student lounge. As a special feature, the architects added a small prayer nook on the second floor that looks out into the chapel.

Although classes will begin meeting in Kimmitt Hall on the first day of school, Bishop Burbidge will cut the ribbon and bless the classrooms when he celebrates Mass with the student body Aug. 30.

“What a wonderful way to welcome all our students back on campus full time,” said Head of School Bill Crittenberger. “These beautiful and spacious new learning spaces will be inspiring and invigorating to students and teachers now and well into the future, as we continue serving families in our community like the Kimmitts for many years to come.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021