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ND, SMC continue campus construction over summer

Kate Antonacci | Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Though most of the Notre Dame student body was absent, campus was all but silent over the summer as construction crews busily worked to prepare for the 2004 school year.

While the most visible fruit of these labors is the new Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts – which made its debut to students Tuesday as doors opened for classes – other developments also took shape.

James Lyphout, vice president for business operations, said the 150,000 square foot Performing Arts building, which first broke ground in Oct. 2001 and cost an estimated $62.6 million, was finished earlier this summer.

“Faculty moved in on July 1 and everything is on time and on schedule,” he said, adding that there will be an official ceremonial dedication in late September or early October.

Though the new performing arts building houses many offices and classrooms, the main venues include a concert hall, a center theatre, an organ and chorale concert hall, a cinema and a studio theatre.

Construction continued this summer on the new security and post office facility, located near Stepan Center, which will be finished in late December or early January.

Also underway is the Guglielmino Family Athletics Center, located east of Rolf’s Sports Recreation Center. This 100,000 square foot building will house a variety of facilities for varsity athletes, notably a 25,000 square foot strength and conditioning center, according to the University Architect website.

Lyphout added that the new Jordan Hall of Science, which will contain lab space for undergraduates, as well as an observatory, greenhouse and herbarium, should be finished by the summer of 2006.

The completion of the performing arts center and the developments made on other construction projects represent the first significant progress since budget cuts and a decreased endowment forced the University to cut back on all construction projects, with the exception of Legends, in recent years.

“These buildings are primarily funded, with the exception of the security/post office building, by benefaction and those gifts have allowed these buildings to move forward,” Lyphout said.

Students at Saint Mary’s also returned to campus to find completed student apartments, finished less than a year after the College broke ground.

“The Opus Hall apartments at Saint Mary’s were finished the first week of August and all 72 beds are filled,” said Nick Farmer, the director of marketing communications at St. Mary’s. “The new apartments offer the independence of off-campus living to senior students.”

Construction is also underway on the new Student Center at the College, which, if all goes as planned, will be ready for use by mid-March, said Farmer. He added that Saint Mary’s is also considering building a new academic building, though construction will not begin until fundraising is finalized.