The history of the 32,000-square-foot Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center is closely linked to the history of the city of Arezzo and has been an important part of the architectural matrix of the city for over 800 years. The Rooney Family Center began its history as a collection of simple 13th-century homes that lead to the Cathedral. This road, the Sacred Way, so-called because of its connectivity to the cathedral, developed into a thriving community of urban monastic complexes during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The simple homes were eventually combined in the 17th century to form a palace owned by the noble Monauto-Barbolani family. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the building passed to the Marquis Guelfi-Camaiano whose family decorated the main floor of the palace with the beautiful wall paintings we see today. In 1892 the palace became the Monastery of the Clarisse, or Poor Saint Clares, until it was sold by the church in 2007.
The now fully modernized Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center is the epicenter of all OU in Arezzo activities. There are 25 student bedrooms that can house 48-50 students at capacity, a two-bedroom faculty-in-residence apartment, a fully-equipped kitchen and dining hall. The beautifully painted rooms on the main floor host classrooms with modern technology and are accessible for lessons taught in Norman. Students studying in Arezzo at the Rooney Family Center are provided with a safe and family-like atmosphere designed to facilitate a global experience and memories to last a lifetime.
The common areas of the monastery provide OUA students with formal and informal spaces to study together, relax and socialize or to participate in a programmed event. The common areas are accessible to all OUA students who reside at the monastery and those students who may be in homestays or additional housing locations.
- Great Hall: Grand piano, tables for studying and socializing, couches and chairs
- Library: Popular for studying; personal lamps and outlets in the tables; lots of books— research books, textbooks, magazines, books in Italian and English, books for enjoyment, travel books, etc.
- Lower library/loft area: Lounges for studying and socializing with comfortable furniture and furniture good for studying.
- Computer lab: Fully equipped with iMacs; Microsoft suite; some with Adobe programs; printer and office supplies
- Industrial kitchen for the chef to cook dinners and where breakfast is prepared
- Kitchen Area for Students — ice machine, glasses and plates, microwaves, toaster ovens, etc. Food lockers for students
- Mensa/cafeteria: This is always open for eating and socializing. When mealtime is not happening students like to use this area for playing cards and board games.
- Garden: Outdoor space with tables and chairs, green spaces, flowers, plants and lemon trees. We grow our own herbs in the garden.
- Chapel: Open all the time.
- Etruscan Well
- Grand entrance: This area is very nice for sitting and enjoying the comfortable couches.
- Mailboxes for semester students
- Several classrooms/meeting rooms:
- Conference room
- Seminar room
- Aula Magna fresco classroom
- Distance-learning classroom
- All of these areas except the seminar room are equipped with smart equipment for presentations and high-quality lectures.
- Laundry room with 5 washers and 5 dryers; we also have irons, ironing boards, and hanging racks for delicate clothing.
- Media room/TV room: Comfortable seating and bean bags and TV with cable, Netflix, a Blu-Ray player, lots of DVDs, etc.
- Outlook tower/loggia with beautiful views and furniture
- Visitor’s suite with an upper balcony that overlooks the chapel.
- Board games, yoga mats, extra towels, extra blankets, etc. for check-out.
- The building is fully heated and air-conditioned.
- Foosball table
- Luggage storage room
- Administrators and staff in the building. The Center Coordinator, Faculty in Residence and Graduate Resident Director live in the building.
- Safe and secure with staff readily available, locked doors, and card access only to enter.
47 residents total can live in the facility: 8 singles, 9 doubles; 7 triples
- Twin bed (several bunk beds)
- Lockable wardrobe/closet with drawers, a full-length mirror, hanging bar, and storage.
- Lockable desk and desk chair
- One refrigerator per room
- Linens (blanket, pillows, sheets, etc.)
- Laundry basket
- Trash cans
- One hair dryer per room
- Full bathrooms are inside the rooms for roommates to share— one bathroom per room:
- Stand-up shower
- Cabinets and drawers for storage
- Openable windows and screens in all rooms
- Great views from rooms!
- USB outlets or regular outlets by every bed and located throughout the rooms.
- Card access for those residents only (no other residents have access to your room).