You might expect the son of the St. Ambrose physical plant director to have an interest in things made of mortar, steel and wood.
Matt Hannon, a sophomore engineering major at St. Ambrose, certainly has that.
Jim Hannon '84, who joined the physical plant straight out of the classroom in 1985 and has led the department since 2001, said all four of his sons have an active interest in things mechanical.
"I made all of the boys get involved in projects at home," the father said.
Matt has taken that involvement to a new level at his new home, the St. Ambrose campus. The younger Hannon has kept a close watch on North Hall as the future residence hall has grown between Harrison and Ripley Streets after ground was broken in October.
A member of the engineering club, Matt Hannon sat in on meetings with the Bush Construction Co. crews and even used a hammer a time or two as favorable winter weather helped the four-story hall take shape much sooner than expected.
"It was really neat to see how each floor was built and designed and put together," he said. "I have been fortunate enough to sit in on job meetings and listen to all the decisions that are being made on what goes into the building, how it is being structured."
One thing young Hannon won't get to do, at least not next year, is live in the newest residence hall on campus. He applied to be a resident advisor at North Hall, but recently learned he will be an RA at Rohlman Hall next year instead.
"For a while I did have my room picked out, but that's all right," he said. " Somebody else can enjoy it now."
Matt Hansen, director of residence life, said room assignments for second-year students on the third and fourth floors have been awarded along with apartments for juniors and seniors on all four floors. First-year applications will be reviewed in the coming months to fill the first and second floors.
North Hall will host one of three themed communities on campus next year, along with West Hall, formerly known as New Hall. West will house the international and spiritual communities. North will be the "academic" community, where students will commit to leadership, service and academic success. Rooms are awarded via an essay application by groups wishing to live together.
North will have a 204 bed capacity and will be ready sooner instead of later, Hansen said.
"The last I heard, it is under budget and ahead of schedule," Hansen said. "Those are great words to hear."
The new building is 56,000 square feet, or just 1,000 feet fewer than West Hall. It brings total resident capacity on campus to roughly 1,500 beds. That's about 1,100 beds more than were here when Matt Hannon's dad enrolled at the school in the early ‘80s.
Jim Hannon has been scouting other colleges recently with his youngest son and said, "Hands down, St. Ambrose has got the best housing."
Matt Hannon led tours of the in-progress construction during Engineering Week in February.
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