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Three new campus buildings planned

Sarah Mervosh | Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Three major campus building projects are currently under design, including a new student center, a hockey arena and a renovation of the first floor of the Hesburgh Library, according to Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves.

Construction will begin on all three of these projects in 2010, he said.

The new student center, which will be called the Stayer Center, will be located east of the Stepan Center and is estimated to cost about $28 million, Affleck-Graves said.

“Stayer Center will be traditional, gothic style, built very much along the lines of the recent buildings we’ve done on campus, like the Law School,” he said.

Affleck-Graves said he is in the process of finding an architecture firm to design the hockey arena, but has an idea of what he would like it to look like.

“It will have a somewhat gothic appearance, but also kind of a fieldhouse look,” he said.

The hockey arena will be located east of the Notre Dame Stadium, near the Melissa Cook Softball Field, and is estimated to cost about $45 million, he said.

The renovation of the first floor of the Library is expected to cost about $13 million, Affleck-Graves said.

“We can’t change the envelope of the Library [because the building is already intact,] but one of the hopes is to get more light into the first floor,” he said.

Affleck-Graves said these three projects have received the necessary funding, enabling the University to begin the initial designs.

The Stayer Center and the Library renovations have been completely funded, which is why their design is already underway, he said. The University has “some of the money in hand” for the hockey arena, so they are in the preliminary process of looking for an architecture firm for that project.

Affleck-Graves said the University’s construction funding policy requires 100 percent of the funds to be pledged, and 75 percent of the funds to be paid, with the remaining 25 percent due within the next five years, before any work can be done.

“I can’t put a spoke in the ground until these three conditions are met,” Affleck-Graves said.

Donations fund all University building projects, except for facilities buildings, Affleck-Graves said.

“Somebody has to say to us, ‘I’ll give you $5 million,'” he said.

Several other projects are waiting for funding, so the University cannot start design work, he said.

Such projects include two new dorms, which will be located east of Pasquerilla East Hall and Knott Hall, a multidisciplinary science engineering building and a new art museum.

He said he cannot give an estimated start date for these projects because he does not know when funding will come in. Once that funding comes, it will take about 12 to 24 months to design a building and hire an architecture firm for the design.