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JACC Renovations: Pavilion now being built

Matt Gamber | Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sandwiched between the unveiling of Lou Holtz’s statue and the wet, wild win over Michigan, groundbreaking ceremonies for the $26.3 million Purcell Pavilion were held Saturday.

According to a University press release, the entire project is scheduled for completion in Jan. 2010. The arena is expected to re-open by mid-Oct. 2009 – in time for both the men’s and women’s basketball seasons.

The project’s first phase will begin this month with exterior changes to the Joyce Center that include a three-story addition on the building’s south end.

The third-floor addition will include the stadium club and hospitality area.

The revamped first floor will include a 3,000 square-foot varsity shop for apparel and souvenirs and nearly 4,500 square feet for ticket offices, including four exterior and 10 interior ticket windows.

The arena’s new main entrance, situated between Gates 8 and 10, will include displays that highlight Notre Dame’s athletic programs.

Renovations will affect the interior of the Joyce Center, including new, blue chair-back seating throughout the entire arena. The wooden bleachers in the upper bowl will be replaced by treads, risers and permanent arena seats. New student seating options are being considered, according to the release.

Capacity will decrease from the current 11,418 to approximately 9,800, which includes the 800-person premium club seating located in new third-floor stadium club area.

The arena, which will be named Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, is a part of the $68.5 million designated for new athletics facilities as a part of the Spirit of Notre Dame campaign.

Notre Dame alumnus and trustee Philip J. Purcell III, the retired chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, provided this project’s $12.5 million leadership gift, the University announced in Oct. 2007.

Notre Dame graduate Vincent J. Naimoli and South Bend automobile dealership owner Mike Leep Sr. also provided lead gifts for the project.

The Joyce Center was originally dedicated with a weeklong series of events Dec. 1-9, 1968, that included shows by Andy Williams and Bill Cosby and a Notre Dame-UCLA basketball game.