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Workers focus on new building construction

Anna Boarini | Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When most students move out for the summer, workers with scaffolding and construction tools move in to complete renovations and repairs across campus.

“Each summer brings a multitude of facility modification projects requested by various units across campus,” University Architect Doug Marsh said. “These, along with traditionally-scheduled repair and maintenance projects, comprise most of the summer’s work.”

One of the larger projects tackled this summer was refurbishing the Hesburgh Library’s Word of Life mosaic, known popularly as “Touchdown Jesus.”

Doug Schlagel, the director of Construction and Quality Assurance, said all of the joints that hold together the stones making up the mosaic were removed and replaced, and the entire tower received light pressure washing.

“Touchdown Jesus” will not need maintenance for another 15-20 years after this project is completed, he said. The last time the mural was refurbished was in the summer of 1994. Current maintenance is expected to be finished sometime in September.

Building the Compton Family Ice Arena was a project that started last year, continued over the summer and is on schedule for completion in October. The arena will become the new home for the hockey team.

“We wanted two things: a long-term solution for the needs of the hockey players and a place that was accessible and well utilized by both the campus, local and regional community,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Tom Nevala said.

One of the major differences between this new arena and the previously used arena in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center is two different ice rinks. One rink is even Olympic size, Marsh said.

“There will be a weight room in the arena for use by any varsity athletic team, as well as cardio equipment and more hockey specific training,” Nevala said.

The Compton Family Ice Arena will also hold 5,000 seats.

“There will also be more standing room capability to meet the demands of the community,” Nevala said. “Student seating capacity has also risen from 600 to 1,100 seats.”

As students return to campus, they will see a new project breaking ground. South of the Mendoza College of Business, construction of the Stayer Center for Executive Education began last month.

According to a 2008 University press release, the building’s construction is funded by a $20 million gift by Ralph Stayer, a 1965 University graduate and CEO of Johnsonville Sausage.

Marsh said the construction is on target for completion in the spring of 2013.