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Badin Hall embraces move to Pangborn

| Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Badin Bullfrogs have hopped over to Pangborn Hall this year while their usual home, Badin Hall, undergoes extensive renovations. Badin is the second hall community to be relocated to Pangborn in as many years, as the Walsh Hall community moved back into their newly renovated home this year after living in Pangborn throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.

While the response to the news of certain halls being relocated for a year of construction was initially mixed, Badin Hall senior and Resident Assistant Natalie McNerney said the move has been met with nothing but positivity from the women of Badin.

“It’s really positive, which is really exciting because I know there was a little concern with us going over to the new building,” she said. “But everyone seems to love it. There are really nice lounges — it’s just great. The rooms are bigger than Badin’s and, so far, the freshmen are loving it.”

A whiteboard at the entrance of Pangborn Hall welcomes the Badin community to its home for the year. As renovations take place in Badin Hall, the Bullfrogs have relocated to the opposite side of South Quad. Kathryne Robinson | The Observer
A whiteboard at the entrance of Pangborn Hall welcomes the Badin community to its home for the year. As renovations take place in Badin Hall, the Bullfrogs have relocated to the opposite side of South Quad.

This positivity stems largely from the residents embracing the benefits that come with moving into a newer building on campus, Badin rector Sr. Susan Sisko said.

“Our ladies are embracing the challenge of being in another hall,” Sisko said. “ … The rooms are fine, we have a beautiful chapel [and] we have air-conditioned lounge spaces here, so it’s great really. There’s not been any real challenges or issue yet that we’ve faced.”

In addition to benefits such as an elevator, McNerney said moving into Pangborn offered the Badin community a new opportunity to expand and diversify.

“Badin is so close-knit to begin with because we’re one of the — I think we may be the smallest female dorm on campus, and this semester I think is a little different,” McNerney said. “We have a lot of international students because Pangborn is bigger than the Badin occupants of it. So we’re incorporating them a lot into our community and really trying to bring it together. We’re putting flags all over the dorm [representing] where everyone’s from and just really trying to create that same community there.”

Badin’s community spirit has already manifested in the form of hall decorations as well as the attitude of the residents, Sisko said.

“We’ve sort of — this is my word — ‘Badin-ized’ the place,” she said. “ … You see a whole lot of Bullfrogs floating around the hall already. So we’ve tried to really not only embrace this challenge as a community, but also to move into the space. Even though it is a temporary hall, it’s our hall for the year, so we really wanted to embrace it by putting up all our Bullfrog stuff and really making it feel like home. And we still have a long way to go yet, but I think we’re well on our way to doing that.”

McNerney credits Sisko with creating an environment that allowed Badin residents to embrace the change.

“It’s the people that make it, not the building,” she said. “And I think Sr. Sue has done such a great job in instilling that positivity and instilling that community within our girls already from the start.”

In order to ensure Badin Hall residents recognize Pangborn as their new home, the residents and hall staff have taken to calling the building “Badin on the Green” — in reference to its location next to the Burke Golf Course — rather than Pangborn, McNerney said.

“The P-word [Pangborn] is banned, we’re not allowed to use the P-word — it’s all ‘Badin on the Green,’” she said. “And I think it just really does make a difference when you’re that positive in a community. Everyone kind of feeds off of each other, and it just makes everything better.”

The re-design plans have also eased residents’ concerns about maintaining the integrity and beauty of Badin Hall, Sisko said.

“Badin is a hall that is steeped in history and beauty,” she said. “If you’ve been inside there, you know that we’ve got a lot of wood — it’s gorgeous, but it just needs some love. … Notre Dame is a university that cherishes history, cherishes the beautiful spaces on campus, and I think with the renovation, they just want to enhance the beauty of Badin — as they’ve done with Walsh.”

The addition that excited Sisko most, she said, is the brand-new chapel.

“You can see already — it’s kind of exciting — that back area is being readied, our new chapel is going to pop out from there,” she said. “ … Badin’s old chapel we loved because it was our chapel, but it was a space that was turned into a chapel rather than created as a chapel. We loved, it we worshipped there [and] we miss it, but now we’re getting a space that is being built to be a chapel. And all the plans — the designs that I’ve seen — that’s what kind of makes my heart skip a beat.”

In the end, moving into a new building for a year is a small challenge for Badin to overcome, Sisko said, especially given the positive impact the renovations will have on the community.

“Badin is a gorgeous hall — it’s beautiful, it’s filled with history, it’s a 120 years old this year, but it needs a little help,” she said. “It needs a little work, and our ladies know that. Our women know that, and they know that this is only temporary, so they’ve really embraced the challenge.

“And it is — for them and for me — kind of a challenge to really see what Badin is made of. Is Badin the hall what defines us, or is our community spirit and the community of Badin what defines us? And all of us believe it’s Badin’s spirit and community. And so everyone, I think, in the hall here — and I think I can speak for most of them — have embraced that challenge and are doing everything they can … to make this Badin.”

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About Courtney Becker

Courtney is a senior from New York City majoring in film, television and theater with a minor in journalism, who recently wrapped up her year as Editor-in-Chief. She is a former resident of Pasquerilla West Hall and a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

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