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University confirms dorm plans

Steve Kerins | Wednesday, November 15, 2006

University officials announced earlier this year that planning is underway for the construction of four new residence halls, the first of which will be finished in time for the 2008-09 school year.

Jim Lyphout, Vice President of Business Operations, said last week that construction will begin on the first dorm in March 2007, and it will be ready to house students by August of the following year.

Lyphout said the dorm will be located between McGlinn Hall and Holy Cross Drive, in an area presently occupied by volleyball courts and field space. He added that the building is not expected to adversely affect students’ opportunities for outdoor recreation.

“The only loss will be the volleyball courts, and they’ll be replaced elsewhere,” he said.

Lyphout said the first residence hall will house men, but others planned for the future will serve women.

“[Women’s dorms] will be also part of the plan, but this is all very much fundraising-dependent,” he said.

The planned residence hall will hold about 235 students, but Lyphout said the University does not intend to increase enrollment to fill it.

“It’s part of a plan to reduce the density in existing residence halls and bring a few off-campus students back to campus,” he said.

Lyphout also said the new residence hall will evoke Notre Dame’s older dorms with the inclusion of rooms of varying sizes.

“There will be some hierarchy of rooms,” he said. “There’ll be a combination of singles, doubles, triples and quads.”

Lyphout’s confirmation that rooms of differing sizes will be built into the dorm echoes statements made by Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves early in the year. As reported in the Sept. 28 issue of The Observer, the new residence halls will be designed in the “throwback” Gothic style, similar to that of the Jordan Hall of Science. This will visibly set them apart from thE most recently built dorms on campus – the four on West Quad.

Affleck-Graves also said two out of the remaining three residence halls in the planning stages will be constructed just east of Pasquerilla East and Knott where Juniper Road is currently being cleared.

All four planned dorms figure into a significant expansion in Notre Dame’s facilities set to occur over the next several years. Future construction projects will include a new wing for the Law School where the former Post Office now stands, a Gothic-style engineering building to be built in the current location of the University Club and renovations to the power plant and portions of the Joyce Center.

The cornerstone projects of the University’s development program will be the landscaped Notre Dame Commons and the much-hyped Eddy Street Commons, or “college town,” to be built south of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.