by Susan SnyderUpdated Feb 25, 2022

Ryan Moran said he got lucky in his first year at St. Joseph’s University. His roommate ended up becoming a best friend.

But for other students on the autism spectrum, a more supportive residential environment might be helpful, Moran, 21, said. He’s glad the Catholic university beginning next fall will offer one.

St. Joseph’s, home to the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, plans to open its first residence hall specifically for students on the spectrum. With a capacity of up to 17 student residents and one student adviser, Saint Albert’s Hall off Lapsley Lane on the Lower Merion side of campus will undergo up to $250,000 in renovations this summer. A large three-story house, it used to be a women’s residence but most recently was used for COVID-19 housing.