Swarbrick discusses construction project
Matthew DeFranks | Sunday, February 9, 2014
When Notre Dame announced the Campus Crossroads Project last week, Notre Dame Stadium was at the center of the plans.
The project, which will cost an estimated $400 million, will add three new buildings to the outside of the Stadium with both academic and student-life functions.
“The core notion was to build these buildings onto the Stadium and to make sure they served a host of University functions,” Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “We always anticipated academic functions, digital media, student services. All of that has come to fruition.”The new construction will add 3,000 to 4,000 new club-level seats to Notre Dame Stadium and will improve Notre Dame’s home-field advantage, Swarbrick said.
“I think it’s going to enhance the game-day experience,” Swarbrick said. “I think there will be a sound dynamic to this with the buildings holding in sound on either side, which I think is going to be really helpful.
“It allows us to have some premium seating that we don’t have now that will produce some revenue that will be helpful. Operationally, we’ll get much needed space for game day operations, security, media. We just don’t have the quantity and quality of space we need to operate a football game now.”
With a new student recreation center planned in the west building, Rolfs Student Recreation Center will become a practice facility for both the men’s and women’s hoops teams.
Swarbrick said Rolfs would need some renovation before it is transformed into the practice facility.
“There will be a fair amount of work that needs to be done to create a men’s and women’s dynamic in the building, to create the office and team space you need,” Swarbrick said. “You don’t have to move any exterior walls, and the building sets up really well.”
Swarbrick said he would not characterize the necessary work as minor.
“All of the non-court space there, a lot of it is going to have to get touched, locker rooms, team rooms, strength and conditioning area, offices,” Swarbrick said. “The work will not be insignificant but not like building something from the ground up.”
Swarbrick said he played a role in developing the initial concept, one that he called unique to colleges and universities.
“It reflects the singular fact that the University has grown up around the Stadium,” Swarbrick said. “It used to be off campus and now it’s not. The question you have to answer is, given how valuable that real estate has become because of the development around it, how do you make it work?”