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Cable wiring slated for winter break

Mary Kate Malone | Friday, December 2, 2005

Notre Dame has delayed the start date for cable installation until Christmas break due to stalled contractual agreements, University officials said Thursday.

“These are pretty intricate legal documents, and both sides [Comcast Corporation and the University] want to make sure all the details are correct – they were hammering things out and trying to make sure all the commas were in place,” Director of Residence Life and Housing Jeffrey Shoup said.

Now that contracts are signed and negotiations are complete, Comcast workers will begin installing cable television and wireless internet Dec. 19 in six of the University’s 27 residence halls, Shoup said.

Barring any major complications, Sorin College, Welsh Family, Keough, Badin, Lyons and Howard halls will be wireless and cable-television-ready when residents return after the Christmas holiday, Shoup said.

The cable television won’t be activated until next fall, once all dorms have been upgraded.

Sorin was originally scheduled to undergo the renovations before Christmas break, however contractual difficulties prevented that from happening. Since it is one of the oldest dorms on campus, officials had hoped to target and solve any problems that arose during its renovation to speed up the process in the other dorms.

By the fall of 2006, every dorm room on campus will be wireless and have access to Comcast’s expanded basic cable option, associate vice president of residence life and housing Bill Kirk said in an article appearing in The Observer on Nov. 7.

Under the revised plan, the remaining residence halls will be upgraded in sets of three throughout the spring. Morrissey Manor, McGlinn and Walsh will undergo the renovations immediately after Christmas break – and students living in those dorms must cope with no Internet or telephone service during the two-week renovation period. The ID card swiping system will also be shut down.

Shoup called this the “dark period” and said he plans to meet with the rector, hall staff and residents of each dorm before they undergo the upgrade to explain the procedure and how it will affect dorm life.

The Office of Residence Life and Housing has scheduled an information session open to all students where Shoup will answer questions about the upgrade process. It is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Notre Dame Room of LaFortune.

Shoup declined to provide a timetable for the remaining residence halls, but said that the upgrades will still be completed by early June.

“We have some tentative schedules but if we start to run behind or run ahead, that could change,” Shoup said. “We’re only looking ahead to the next three, given these are the first ones we’ve done.”