Notre Dame's list of new buildings, renovations top $712 million

Author: Jessica Brookshire

As published in the South Bend Tribune, April 27, 2014

SOUTH BEND -- A building boom is about to begin at the University of Notre Dame, which plans to spend more than $712 million onnew construction and renovation projects during the next five years.

"It's 1.3 million square feet of new space," said John Affleck-Graves, the university's executive vice president, who described the latest campus master plan.

In addition to new buildings, there will be at least 100,000 square feet of substantial renovation work in Hesburgh Library.

The projects are expected to provide many jobs, offering a boost to the economy and the area building trades.

The scheduled projects include:

  • An $88 million interdisciplinary research facility.
  • A $40 million renovation of Hesburgh Library.
  • The $400 million Campus Crossroads project that will add three academic and student life buildings on the exterior of Notre Dame Stadium, and add premium seating for fans and outdoor terraces overlooking the football field.
  • A $80 million academic complex to house social sciences and international institutes.
  • A $39.6 million new home for the School of Architecture.
  • Two new undergraduate residence halls, costing a total of $40 million.
  • Work already under way totaling $25 million to extend utilities to the planned new buildings.

The first project to break ground, in fall 2014, will be a large research facility to be built on part of the parking lot east of Hesburgh Library. The 200,000-square-foot facility will contain laboratory space for science and engineering research. Its construction will be the start of what is expected to be an East Quadrangle on campus.

Later this year, a $40 million renovation of Hesburgh Library will begin with the first and second floors. Full renovation of the entire 51-year-old library could take five to 10 years. The project will include adding a north entrance, which will make for access to the library on all four sides.

"The modern library is more about working space, so we want to get more light into the building," Affleck-Graves said. The library's main concourse is slated to change dramatically. Some walls will be removed, glass added and ceiling space opened to the second floor, allowing more natural light to flood the concourse.

Stadium project

The Campus Crossroads project, approved in February, is a massive undertaking that will add three academic and student life buildings on the exterior of Notre Dame Stadium. The new buildings totaling 750,000 square feet will be added to the exterior of the stadium, and include premium seating for fans and outdoor terraces overlooking the football field on the top floors of both the east and west buildings.

Construction is expected to start within two years.

The project will include a nine-story student center/student life building on the west side. The existing press box will be renovated into a premium seating area for the football stadium.The upper floors will contain boxes for home and visiting coaches, security booths, and boxes for administrative and athletic department leaders.

A nine-story anthropology/psychology/digital media center will be constructed on the east side. The upper floors will contain the stadium press box, outdoor club seating for football fans, outdoor terraces, and a large space that will double as a club area and a flexible classroom, and radio booths.A six-story music building will be constructed on the south side. The department of music and sacred music program will move to this facility, which will include recital and rehearsal halls, a music library and a 350-seat club/lounge.

The project may result in an increase of 3,000 to 4,000 seats in the stadium, increasing the total current capacity of 80,795. Improvements may slightly reduce the seating capacity in the current seating bowl of the stadium, so a total new capacity figure isn't yet determined.

Jenkins Hall

A 175,000-square-foot project on Notre Dame Avenue will result in two interconnected buildings, Jenkins Hall and Nanovic Hall. Jenkins Hall, named in honor of the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, will house the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and Liu Institute for Asia & Asian Studies, as well as provide additional space for the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Nanovic Hall will house the departments of economics, political science and sociology, as well as the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Walsh Family Hall of Architecture, a 60,000-square-foot building, will be the new home for the School of Architecture. It will be built east of DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The architect who will design that building has not yet been announced.

Two new undergraduate residence halls -- one for men and one for women -- will be constructed northeast of Hesburgh Library.

The campus currently houses about 6,400 undergraduates, and the two new dorms will add about 470 beds. To meet demand for undergraduate housing, the university has had to take study lounges and social lounges in some residence halls and convert them to student rooms, Affleck-Graves said. The two new halls will allow those spaces to revert to their original uses, he said.

A new 720-space campus parking lot is being constructed on formerly wooded land at the southwest corner of Twyckenham Drive and Bulla Road. That will provide more spaces than the approximate 600 the campus will lose with construction of the research building, according to Doug Marsh, an associate vice president and university architect.

The student center that will be built as part of Campus Crossroads will include student recreational sports and fitness facilities. After Campus Crossroads is complete, Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, the current student fitness center, will be renovated to become a practice facility for the men's and women's varsity basketball teams. A price tag and start date for that project has not been determined.

Wish list

Notre Dame also has a "wish list" of potential future campus construction projects, Affleck-Graves said. That list includes building projects that administrators have on the drawing board and hope will be funded for construction at a later date.

Those possible future projects include:

  • The first-ever campus parking garage, with 1,000 parking spaces, targeted to be built on the parking lot just south of Stepan Center.
  • An additional interdisciplinary research building, smaller and just east of the one that will be built on part of the Hesburgh Library parking lot.
  • A new campus art museum, slated for the northeast corner of Angela Boulevard and Eddy Street, just west of the campus sculpture park.
  • An addition to Innovation Park at Notre Dame, the high-tech business incubator near the intersection of Angela Boulevard and Twyckenham Drive.

Notre Dame partnered with Kite Realty Group to create Eddy Street Commons, the retail-office-residential "college town" development that opened in 2009 along Eddy Street just south of campus. Eddy Commons might expand some day to the south, but the parties involved are just starting to think about those plans, Affleck-Graves said.

The original Eddy Commons plan called for a high-end hotel to be constructed along Angela, just north of the development's parking garage. That hotel plan was shelved because of the recession. "If the economy can continue to sustain this recovery, I'm confident we'll eventually get (the hotel)," Affleck-Graves said.

Notre Dame leaders remain committed to keeping Twyckenham Drive as the east edge of campus, and to not making substantial changes to the historic central part of campus or adding more buildings on the banks of the two campus lakes, Affleck-Graves said.

"We want to do the best we can," he said, "to keep this a pedestrian campus."


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