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New CSC construction underway

Kate McClelland | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A quick walk across the north end of campus will show that the new year has brought more new construction to Notre Dame.

Ground recently broke on the new Center for Social Concerns building, which is projected to be finished in the summer of 2009.

At four stories high and 64,000 square feet, the new Center will provide the much needed space and resources that the old Center – at only 11,400 square feet – lacked.

The Institute for Church Life will be moving from its current location in Hesburgh Library to the new building as well. Additionally, 25 percent of the new space has been designated for future growth.

During construction, the CSC will operate from Building No. 1042, which is located behind Rockne Memorial on the west side of campus.

In an e-mail, Jim Lyphout, vice president for business operations for the University, said the new CSC will cost the University $14 million to build. Most of the funding was donated by Michael and Sheila Geddes and Thomas and Mary Cabot, and the new building will be named Geddes Hall.

Michael Geddes earned his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame and also serves as a trustee on Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life Advisory Council. He was the 2006 recipient of the Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., Award.

Thomas Cabot is a graduate of Harvard University; his youngest son graduated from Notre Dame. Cabot and his wife are the primary sponsors of the CSC’s international summer service initiative, in which Notre Dame students participate.

Paul Horn, communications director for the CSC, said it will have an auditorium, an improved student lounge, a chapel, a larger coffeehouse, increased office space for community-based research and community-based learning initiatives and also a small library space, which will hopefully become home to a collection works on Catholic Social Teaching, justice education and civic participation.

“The CSC staff is looking forward to settling into its new home, which will provide not only space, but a formal place of prayer that is environmentally friendly and will allow a venue for larger events that could not have taken place previously,” he said.

While the temporary location of the CSC might not take much getting used to, residents in dorms like BP, Farley and Siegfried will have to adjust to some of the problems associated with living next to a construction site.

Lyphout wrote that residents in neighboring buildings “will experience varying degrees of inconvenience.” Construction crews are scheduled to start early in the morning, which could make noise a problem for students.

However, all contractors have been made aware of the need to respect campus residents, and their top priority is the safety of the students who will travel past the site on a daily basis, Lyphout said.