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Notre Dame: stop building, start renovating

| Wednesday, September 5, 2018

With the construction of the new men’s residence hall and new indoor practice facility covering two ends of campus this semester, I’m guessing there are a handful of students who share my opinion about the sites popping up.

During the continual new building within the past few years, there are old buildings continuing to be left in the dirt. Some old buildings are receiving attention. Morrissey is going through renovations and is being hosted in Pangborn, Corby Hall is being replaced. But there are others that are forgotten and could use a facelift before money is spent on other new ones.

As a former Lyons resident, I’ve battled against the rundown dorm rooms for three years. The electrical wiring probably hasn’t been updated since the place was built, or if it has, there are visible concerns. Towards the last few weeks of last semester, my roommate and I pulled out every bowl we had to contain the water dripping from our ceiling. By the time maintenance fixed it, the ceiling looked even more unstable than before with all the patching and cracking.

Also, how can we forget Fisher’s “small electrical fire” that happened last April? A fan caught fire and two rooms were damaged by smoke and water. Seems like a concern. One that received a rather indifferent response too and little need to fix anything.

A considerable amount of dorms and buildings on South Quad (and Carroll Hall) can be up for renovations. I’m all for the tradition and character within them, and by no means want a modern makeover. But there’s a point where their functionality and datedness can be a safety concern.

And as a design student, I have the obligation to bring up West Lake. One of the most forgotten buildings. I’m guessing a good amount who read this don’t have a clue where or what it is. That building that sits beyond Lyons Hall, the one that was supposed to be temporary. The one that has unregulated heat and air conditioning, bugs within studios and labs, visible water damage, lack of quality space, etc. For any design student, the list can go on. Although a small major, design and the level of passion and creativity within the department deserve attention and as much respect as any other.

Then West Lake’s sister, Riley Hall, the art building. Design students would kill to have a building even as nice as Riley, a building that needs some help itself. The place is an upgrade from West Lake, but temperature is just as much as an issue along with its overall rundown appearance and lack of space.

At some point, maybe we will run out of space and renovate what we have. Maybe more attention will be focused on what money should actually be geared towards, such as safe environments and equal spaces for all areas of study. Maybe.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Meagan Bens

Meagan is a junior Visual Communication Design major and Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy minor living in Lyons Hall. She serves as a sports writer and hails from the suburbs of Chicago.

Contact Meagan