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Dillon Hall keeps community in Baumer for year

| Wednesday, August 28, 2019

This year, the men of Dillon Hall will have a change of scenery — all 251 residents of Dillon can be found living in the brand-new Baumer Hall due to a year-long full-scale renovation of their home dorm. 

Dillon, built in 1931 and last renovated in 2005, may have jumped ahead in the list of dorms to be renovated, rector Fr. Paul Doyle said. He said Dillon, the largest dorm on campus according to Residential Life, was unable to fit in the typical swing dorm, Pangborn, so the opening of Baumer Hall came at a perfect time.

“If we would have gone to Pangborn, we wouldn’t have been able to take freshmen this year,” Doyle, who has been with Dillon for over 20 years, said. “We would’ve had only upperclassmen.”

A group of women are living in Pangborn for this school year and will be moving to the women’s dorm being constructed on the north side of campus when it is completed. 

Baumer Hall is on the north side of campus, near Ryan Hall and Keough Hall, and was completed this past summer. The $20 million residence hall came from a gift from John Baumer, a Notre Dame alumnus, and his family. 

“The Baumers are such gracious people to build a new dorm and not care that [it will] get used as swing space for the first year,” Doyle said.

Although the Dillon community is in a new space for the year, Doyle said he doesn’t think much will change in the way things are done. The community is taking steps to make it clear they are very much still Dillon Hall, just in a different building.

“I don’t think anything’s going to be taken out because we are away,” Doyle said. “The shirts the freshmen got said ‘Dillon in residence at Baumer,’ the name tags on their doors have a big Dillon ‘D’ in the background behind their names and Fr. Dillon’s picture is here.”

The hall will be continuing its “Milkshake Mass” tradition in the brand new chapel and the annual dance with Alumni Hall, the Big Red Dog Dance.

Among the new amenities Doyle and the rest of Dillon will be enjoying are the wide hallways, larger common spaces, more study rooms and — as Doyle specifically noted — great acoustics in the chapel that fits about 170 people.

Additionally, Baumer has a two-story lounge, a reading room, a community kitchen, a food sales kitchen and other community spaces.

Doyle also specifically mentioned Baumer’s addition of handicap accessibility, which Dillon did not have.

Doyle speculated that Baumer will be filled next year through a raffle males across campus can enter, including some of the men currently living in Baumer. However, the University has not announced the official process of determining who will reside in Baumer next year. 

“Some of this population in all grades will stay here, but not many I think,” Doyle said.

When Dillon goes back to its home next year, it will have air conditioning in all the common areas and hallways, more 24-hour spaces and a top-to-bottom sprucing up.

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About Mariah Rush

Mariah is a junior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She is from the great city of South Bend, which is not the middle of nowhere, and serves as an Associate News Editor for the Observer.

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