On Monday, August 30, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington cut the ribbon on Bishop O'Connell's new three-story academic wing, Kimmitt Hall. The new building is named in honor of J. Stanley and Eunice Kimmitt for their sacrifices to support Catholic education for seven of their children who attended Bishop O'Connell between 1964 and 1973.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Bishop Burbidge moved through the 29,000 square foot facility to bless the classrooms, faculty workrooms and study lounges. Included in the new building are several spaces named in honor of alumni families, including a classroom on the first floor named in memory of Art and Helen Devlin, another on the second floor named in honor of Judge Paul F. Sheridan and Jeanette Sheridan, and a student study lounge made possible by the Saraille family.
For the 2021-2022 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 very large flexible space which can serve as a seminar room, or two standard-sized classrooms. The building sits on the north side of campus and provides views not only over the central campus green space, but also to the tranquil neighborhood on one side, and the recently-turfed baseball field on the other. In addition, Kimmitt Hall boasts many of the latest environmentally-friendly features, including green roofs, a building management system to allow for facilities to be controlled from a computer, and a water management system to help control water runoff, protecting the watershed.
At the heart of this new wing is the beautiful new Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, which was dedicated by Bishop 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.
"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."