Historic project at Notre Dame nearing completion

Author: Dennis Brown

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The largest construction project in the 175-year history of the University of Notre Dame – an 800,000-square-foot integration of world-class space for teaching, research, performances, faith, multimedia, student life and athletics – is nearing completion, with several components now open or opening over the next two weeks and most of the other facilities ready for occupancy in January.

“The addition of these three new buildings – Corbett Family Hall, O’Neill Hall and Duncan Student Center – creates remarkable opportunities for us to advance Notre Dame’s mission as a place of teaching and research, education of the whole person, faith turned to service, and community,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “These new facilities will draw together varied activities that are central to the life of Notre Dame, benefiting all those who study, teach, live, work and visit here.

“We are grateful beyond measure to the benefactors, planners, alumni, builders, staff, faculty, students and so many others who have been integral to the completion of this wonderful addition to the Notre Dame campus. It will, I know, serve the University well for generations to come.”

The project included construction of three new buildings and fan enhancements to Notre Dame Stadium. Three-quarters of the space is devoted to non-athletic purposes.

  • Corbett Family Hall, on the east side of the stadium, is the new home for the Departments of Psychology and Anthropology and the Rex and Alice A. Martin Media Center.

    Corbett Family Hall

    • Both psychology and anthropology, which have had units of their departments scattered across campus and throughout the broader community, will now be housed in one location with laboratories, classrooms, offices and other facilities that are second to none.The Martin
    • Media Center will bring together all campus multimedia services, plus provide space for the new Catholic Media Project and teaching space for the Department of Film, Television and Theatre.
    • The upper three levels of the nine-story building have premium seating for football and hospitality space, including the Downes Club, a gift from the Sean P. Downes family, and the Hank Family Forum, a gift from the Bill and Joan Hank family, for game days as well as throughout the week.
    • The Martin Media Center opened in mid-July, anthropology faculty and staff will move into their new quarters between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5, and the psychology department will delay its move until after commencement in May.
    • Construction of Corbett Family Hall was underwritten by a gift from alumnus Richard Corbett.
  • O’Neill Hall is on the south end of the stadium and will house the Department of Music and the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program.

    O Neill Hall

    • Features include the Michuda Family Rehearsal Hall, LaBar Family Recital Hall, LaBar Family Performance Hall, music library, music lab for studio production, lecture hall, classrooms and seminar rooms, rehearsal rooms, numerous practice rooms of varying sizes, four organ practice rooms and faculty offices. The Michuda Family Rehearsal Hall is a gift from Leo and Anne Michuda, Mark and Brenda Michuda, Josef and Kristin Michuda and Joseph and Marie Michuda D’Ortenzio. The recital and performance halls are gifts from Rees and Carol LaBar.
    • A club on the third level will provide hospitality space on football weekends and throughout the week.
    • In addition, the first level of O’Neill Hall will serve as a primary entrance to Notre Dame Stadium through the Frank Leahy Gate.
    • Both the department and program tentatively plan to move between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5.
    • O’Neill Hall was made possible by a gift from Helen and Charles Schwab in honor of her brother Joe O’Neill.
  • On the west side of the stadium, Duncan Student Center includes meeting rooms, undergraduate and graduate student lounges, a food court, space for student organizations, the 500-seat

    Duncan Student Center

    Dahnke Ballroom, a gift from Scott and Loretta Dahnke; administrative offices; the two-story Smith Center for Recreational Sports, a gift from Tripp and Sheila Smith; the Hagerty Family Café, a gift from Tom and Jeanne Hagerty; the Jan and Marty Hiller Midfield Commons, a gift from Jan and Marty Hiller; the Thomas and Therese Grojean Family Loft, a gift from Thomas and Therese Grojean; the Rasmus Family Club, a gift from Bob and Carol Rasmus; and a career services center with more than 40 interview rooms, multiple training rooms and conference areas, an employer lounge and advising offices.


    • A basement level will provide space for food services and other operations.

    • Units moving into Duncan Student Center will do so at the semester break, with the center and its operations opening Jan. 15.

    • Construction of Duncan Student Center was made possible by a gift from the Duncan family.

Sustainability has been a primary consideration during the design and construction of all three buildings, which seek to achieve LEED Silver certification. The buildings were designed and constructed to use less water and be as energy efficient as possible. Among the many sustainable design features is the installation of the largest green roof in Indiana as a means to mitigate storm water run-off, improve air quality, reduce noise, increase building insulation and conserve rainwater for release back into the atmosphere.

Hundreds of tradespeople worked on the buildings for the past 33 months, logging more than 3 million hours. To operate the new buildings through the year and, particularly on home football game weekends, the University is adding more than 60 full-time positions and some 765 part-time or on-call seasonal jobs.

In addition to adding to the labor force, the University expects the new facilities surrounding Notre Dame Stadium, as well as the stadium itself, to have a positive economic impact on the greater South Bend community beyond home football games. The University plans to host concerts, professional sports teams and other events in the stadium, and the hospitality spaces also will be available for large functions. The result will be additional visitors who will spend nights in local hotels, dine at restaurants, fill their gas tanks and use the services of other businesses throughout the community.

Many of the additions and improvements to Notre Dame Stadium will be unveiled during Kicks & Flicks Week, Aug. 20 to 25, featuring a scrimmage by the 2017 Fighting Irish football team at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 20 and Flick on the Field, an open house event featuring a screening of the movie “Rudy” on the stadium’s new video board at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

The full range of fan enhancements to the football stadium will be on display for the Sept. 2 season-opening game, including:

  • New seating throughout the bowl, and wider seats in the lower bowl.
  • WiFi throughout the stadium.
  • A new dedicated cellular network to significantly improve cell service inside the stadium.
  • Fully renovated and historically-themed concourses celebrating the original Notre Dame Stadium, as well as new way-finding signage, decorative lighting and bricked columns.
  • A 96-by-54-feet HD video board and sideline ribbon boards.
  • 150 video monitors placed at various locations throughout the concourse, including on concession stand facades.
  • Renovated restrooms throughout the stadium.
  • Renovated concession-stand exteriors with new portable stands and a refreshed concession menu, including some lower-priced items.
  • A new Notre Dame locker room, visiting locker room, entrance for visiting teams, all new banners and extensive brick work in the north tunnel, new Schivarelli Lounge for recruiting and new areas for officials.

Also opening for the upcoming fall semester are Jenkins Hall and Nanovic Hall, interconnected buildings on Notre Dame Avenue. Jenkins Hall – made possible by a gift from the late Donald R. Keough, a past chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his family and named in honor of Father Jenkins – will house the new Keough School of Global Affairs, the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish StudiesLiu Institute for Asia and Asian StudiesCenter for Civil and Human RightsKellogg Institute for International StudiesKroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development. Nanovic Hall will house the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Departments of EconomicsPolitical Science and Sociology. The buildings are a combined 185,000 square feet.

In addition, the 100,000-square-foot Walsh Family Hall of Architecture, made possible by a gift from Matthew and Joyce Walsh of Burr Ridge, Illinois, is under construction on the south edge of the campus and will open in December 2018.

A series of stories detailing each of the new buildings and their associated departments and programs, as well as new features to Notre Dame Stadium are forthcoming on ND.edu and UND.com. For more information about the project, including images and video downloads, visit crossroads.nd.edu

Originally published by Dennis Brown at news.nd.edu on August 11, 2017.