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Construction to close campus roads

AMANDA GRAY | Friday, April 9, 2010

Although new construction projects — such as a new arena for the hockey team — are expected to close some roads around campus, Vice President of Business Operations James Lyphout said he expects the construction will proceed smoothly.

Roads around the Joyce Center, including Holy Cross Drive, will be closed until Sept. 1 for the construction of the new ice arena.

“We have worked with Barton Malow, the construction firm, on a previous project, Purcell Pavilion,” Lyphout said. “The new arena will be an improvement from what we have now in that it will add 2,000 seats and have two sheets of ice, one for the hockey team and one for student and community use.”

The new arena will be located on the north side of Angela Boulevard, south of the Joyce Center. Construction will last until December of 2011.

“The new ice arena has been a target project for a long time,” Lyphout said. “Preliminary planning began in February of 2009.”

Lyphout said he does not anticipate any problems.

“[The closed roads] will be open and in use before the first home football game,” Lyphout said.

The roads that are currently closed were open during the NCAA women’s basketball tournament on March 21 and 23 and will be open for the Blue and Gold football game on April 24, the Commencement exercises from May 14 to 16 and the 2010 Alumni Reunion from June 3 to 6, according to a University press release.

Hockey coach Jeff Jackson said he is thrilled for the new facility.

“It is exciting to see the construction get under way,” Jackson said. “It will be an exciting time for our entire program, watching it’s evolution over the next 18 months.”

He said the new facility will improve upon almost everything the current program has, including ice conditions, controlled practice environments, locker rooms and player amenities, equipment and trainer facilities, weight rooms and offices for staff.

“The best part of all is the environment that it will create for our students and fans. Having balconies all around will create an intimate environment and intimidating to our opponents,” Jackson said. “Having a majority of chair back seats, a club area and seating all with great sight lines for watching a hockey game will be awesome for our loyal supporters. They will also benefit from the amenities like restrooms, concessions and souvenir shops that we desperately lack at the JACC.”

Jackson said the players have helped build the program to what it is today.

“So many of the players that have helped build this program over the last five years have graduated or are graduating. They deserve to see how their efforts and on ice success have helped elevate the Irish hockey program,” he said. “This also goes for all the great hockey alumni that have waited a long time for this, many of which have contributed a lot of money to make it a reality.”

Jackson said he had a hand in the design of the new facility.

“We wanted it to be built with a ‘retro’ appeal, not just a ‘cookie cutter’ bowl appearance,” he said.

He said the design team looked at older college rinks like Northeastern’s Matthews Arena and Michigan’s Yost Arena for inspiration, as well as new arenas at Miami and Denver.

 “My main emphasis was making it an exciting venue for our students and fans, something that we can all be proud to call our home, including future recruits, and a scary place for our opponents to play,” Jackson said.

Also under construction is Harper Hall, an addition to Raclin Carmichael Hall, part of the Indiana University School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame.

The two-story 72,000 square foot hall will function as a cancer research center.

Construction is expected to be complete during the 2010-11 winter season, according to the University Architect Web site.