ND thinks big with future plans

by Margaret Fosmoe

$300 million to $400 million in projects on drawing board

SOUTH BEND — A new art museum, four more residence halls, several new academic buildings and new athletic fields are in the University of Notre Dame’s future.

There also will be a lush lawn rolled out at the university’s front door.

Those are a few of the improvements included in Notre Dame’s master campus plan.

A total of $300 million to $400 million in campus building and renovation work is expected during the next five years, said John Affleck-Graves, Notre Dame’s executive vice president.

Don’t expect any dramatic architectural changes. Traditional collegiate Gothic will continue to be the style for future campus buildings.“Our alumni, and our students and the administration are really comfortable with collegiate Gothic,” Affleck-Graves said. “It’s not that it’s right for everybody, but we think for Notre Dame, it’s important that there’s a consistency.”

Scheduled projects

The following projects are under way or soon to start.

  • Stadium pedestrian plaza: Work is under way to erase the former Juniper Road, which closed last year after traffic shifted to a new road east of campus. Workers are removing the pavement, installing sewer and water lines, and building steam tunnels along that north-south corridor through campus. The area between Notre Dame Stadium and the Joyce Center is being transformed into a pedestrian plaza with landscaping and benches, to be complete by mid-May.
  • The old roadway also will be removed from the parking lots south of the Joyce Center and football stadium. Those lots will be resurfaced and landscaped. There will be a dedicated parking lot for patrons of Legends Restaurant&Alehouse Pub, a campus restaurant that is open to the public.

p. A road leading to Hesburgh Library will remain, but will be redesigned to add more short-term and disabled parking spaces.

More than 350 trees and other landscaping will be added along the former Juniper route. The work will be completed by August.

  • Notre Dame Stadium: Work will begin this spring on patching concrete sections of the football stadium’s original bowl to protect the structure from water damage. It’s an ongoing project that will continue for years.
  • Softball stadium: Construction will begin this spring on a new softball facility at the southeast corner. It will be named Melissa Cook Stadium, in honor of a former Notre Dame softball player who was killed in 2002 in an accident in Chicago. The $3 million cost was donated by Cook’s family.
  • Power plant: Work is nearly complete on an addition to the campus power plant that was needed to provide more capacity for the campus. Notre Dame will continue to rely primarily on coal for its power.
  • Duncan Hall: A three-story undergraduate men’s residence hall is under construction on the West Quadrangle, near the campus nine-hole golf course. Designed to house 232 students, it will open in August 2008.
  • Cedar Grove Cemetery: Two mausoleums are being built. Each will contain 72 crypts for above-ground interments and 528 niches for cremated remains. When construction is finished this summer, the cemetery will be open for interment of Notre Dame alumni and members of Sacred Heart Parish. (Since the 1970s, burial plots have only been available to Notre Dame employees and retirees.)
  • Notre Dame Law School: Construction will begin in August on an 85,000-square-foot addition on the site of the former campus post office. The new classroom and office building will be connected to the existing law school with an arched walkway. When the project is completed in 2010, the renovated original building will be used as the law library.
  • The Great Lawn: Work will start in the fall on Notre Dame Commons, a landscaped park area along Edison Road at the main entrance to campus.“The main purpose of this is as a gathering space and a transit space so people (on campus) can find their way down to the Eddy Street development project and have an enjoyable path,” said Doug Marsh, Notre Dame’s university architect. “It’s also designed to create a new outdoor space literally at our front lawn.”

p. Some of the paths will lead to Eddy Street, where a “college town” retail-residential-office development named Eddy Street Commons is planned on land owned by Notre Dame. The developer is Kite Realty Trust Group of Indianapolis.

Notre Dame Commons will have the look and feel of a park, and is intended for use by both campus and community residents. A terrace on the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s south side will lead onto the Great Lawn.

  • Multidisciplinary engineering teaching and research building: Construction will begin in November for a $69.4 million building on the current site of the University Club, which will be demolished. Club leaders still are talking with administrators about the possibility of moving the club elsewhere. The 142,000-square-foot engineering building will include three floors and a full basement.
  • South Quadrangle: More than 100 new trees, mostly elms, will be planted on the South Quadrangle this year, a gift from an anonymous university benefactor. South Quad for decades had rows of elm and maple trees along its walkways. Most of the elms died by the early 1980s because of Dutch elm disease. The new trees are a disease-resistant variety.
  • New Center for Social Concerns/Institute for Church Life building. Construction of the $14 million, 64,000-square-foot building will begin in spring 2008 on the site of the existing Center for Social Concerns, which will be demolished.

Future projects

  • Joyce Center: A 60,0000-square foot, $25 million expansion and renovation of the south dome of the Joyce Center. The renovated arena will be named Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, in honor of Philip J. Purcell II, a graduate and trustee who has donated $12.5 million toward the project.All bleachers in the arena will be replaced with blue chair-back seats, dropping seating capacity from 11,418 to 9,800. A 16,500-square foot stadium club will overlook the floor at the arena’s south end. Other improvements will include updated concessions areas, more public restrooms and additional seating options for the disabled. A new main entrance will be constructed on the south side of the building, and the ticket office will move to the first floor.

p. Fundraising should be complete within six months and construction could begin in the next year, Affleck-Graves said.

Fundraising stage

The following future projects are planned and funds are being sought. Construction is not yet scheduled.

  • Art museum: A new building to be constructed near the intersection of Edison Road and Eddy Street. It will replace the Snite Museum, which has been isolated by the loss of nearby parking and roadways.
  • Two additional residence halls, planned for northeast of Hesburgh Library. Another new residence hall might be built on West Quad.

p. Notre Dame currently has about 8,000 undergraduates, and 6,400 live on campus. The university has no plans to significantly increase the size of its student body, Affleck-Graves said. The additional dorms will allow the university to restore study lounges in some of the residence halls that have been converted to student rooms, he said. There is no plan to build campus apartments for undergraduates.

  • New stadiums for soccer, lacrosse, and track and field: To be built on existing fields east of the Joyce Center.
  • North dome of the Joyce Center: A major donor is being sought for the $15 million renovation of the dome that houses the ice rink for the hockey team.
  • Social sciences building: Planned for the DeBartolo Quadrangle, probably just south of the Hesburgh Center.
  • Executive education center: Planned for the DeBartolo Quadrangle, just south of the Mendoza College of Business, to serve as the classroom site for the Executive MBA program.
  • Student activities center: A new building that would house multipurpose spaces for student events, such as dances and concerts. It might be built near the site of Stepan Center, a geodesic dome built in 1962, which would be demolished. The activities center would supplement, not replace, LaFortune Student Center.

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