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Construction to continue across ND campus

Aaron Steiner | Friday, May 18, 2007

Construction has been visible across Notre Dame’s campus this semester, and with several projects currently in progress – including development of a pedestrian plaza near the Joyce Center and a new male dormitory – work sites will continue to be major fixtures in the coming months.

Construction and closures near the Joyce Center should not cause significant problems during commencement activities this weekend, Vice President of Business Operations Jim Lyphout said in an e-mail Tuesday.

“All the roads into and surrounding the B and C lots south of the stadium and Joyce Center will be open to traffic,” Lyphout said. In addition, all entrances to the Joyce are accessible and will remain accessible during construction of the plaza.

The plaza under development will be “a welcoming place for meeting friends and family during game days or just a place to relax. There will be many trees planted in this area to provide shade as well as benches and seating walls,” Lyphout said.

The plaza is located on the former Juniper Road between Notre Dame Stadium and the Joyce Center and is part of the phased removal of Juniper Road scheduled to continue this summer.

Reconstruction of the parking lots south of the stadium and Joyce Center is also scheduled for coming months.

Construction of Duncan Hall, a male dormitory west of McGlinn Hall, began in early March. The dorm will reduce overcrowding in current residence halls while providing more on-campus living opportunities for transfer students, as well as juniors and seniors not wishing to leave dorm life. The new dorm is slated to have more lounges, among other amenities, to increase desirability.

Utilities expansion work south of the construction site and south of McGlinn, O’Neill and Keough Halls caused some closure of pedestrian walkways earlier this semester. Lyphout said that work would be completed mid-summer.

Duncan Hall, which will house 232 students, is on track to be completed in August 2008, he said.

Extended work north of the Joyce and Stadium plaza during the removal of Juniper Road will continue during the summer and will include a renovation of Library Circle. Lyphout said there would be periodic disruptions to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the area as the circle is redesigned.

Construction of the new Melissa Cook Stadium, a softball stadium on the east side of campus, will also take place this summer and is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2008.

Other construction projects completed this year include the renovation of the Student Health Center, a sanitary sewer project between the area east of Breen-Phillips Hall, and construction on a chilled water system between the Morris Inn and the former Notre Dame Post Office.

Utilities work related to these projects caused two separate gas leaks during February and March – both west of Hesburgh Library. The first prompted the evacuation of seven buildings, and the second led to a precautionary evacuation of the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) building.

As the University’s 10-year master plan moves forward, Lyphout said, construction will continue in the near future at “about the same pace as we have experienced in the last several years.”

Upcoming construction projects include the Law School expansion to the location of the former Notre Dame Post Office, which will begin this summer.

“The former Post Office will be demolished in June and groundbreaking on the new building will be in late July,” Lyphout said.

Also on schedule is the demolition of the University Club’s current home to make way for the new Stinson-Remick Hall, a multidisciplinary engineering building, scheduled to break ground this November, Lyphout said. That project has upset some regulars of the Club, who wish to stay in their current location.

Lyphout said he recognizes the various types of construction work can disturb the people living and working on campus.

“We attempt to minimize the disruption of the campus during construction as much as possible,” Lyphout said. “We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience with the inconvenience some of our work causes but we trust everyone will agree that the end results will prove worth the trouble.”

Other planned projects include a new CSC and Institute for Church Life building on the site of the current CSC structure, a Joyce Center renovation and a commons area south of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in anticipation of development on Eddy Street.

Other capital projects mentioned in the campus master plan released by the University architect include three more dormitories after Duncan Hall, a social sciences building, an executive education center, a new student activities center and a new art museum.

The newly announced “Spirit of Notre Dame” capital campaign -Notre Dame’s most ambitious fundraising effort, with a set goal of $1.5 billion – will contribute to current and future projects, Lyphout said. The campaign currently has about half its goal.