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Recently renovated Bond Hall welcomes new departments, initiatives

| Friday, September 13, 2019

Following the School of Architecture’s transition to Walsh Family Hall in the spring, Bond Hall now serves as a part of the University’s Campus Student Learning District, along with the Coleman-Morse Center.

Bond Hall is currently home to the Institute for Latino Studies, the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, the Graduate School, the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars, the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and a new initiative for first-year science and engineering students.

Originally built in 1917, Bond Hall served as the University’s library until the School of Architecture transitioned into the building in 1964.

Erin Fennessy

Bond Hall, originally serving as the University’s library, recently underwent renovations, including the addition of a new learning research lab and First Year Advising space.

Project specialist Matt Motolko, who facilitated the design and bid process of Bond Hall through completion, said workers kept the existing layout of the building and made renovations based on each department’s specific needs.

“For some, there were walls added to create individual offices and meeting spaces, which included minor mechanical upgrades,” Motolko said in an email. “While for others, the areas were almost move-in ready, just some minor cosmetic upgrades.”

In addition to the departments who have already moved in, Motolko said they are in the preliminary stages of planning a teaching and learning research lab on the ground floor, as well as a new space for First Year Advising on the third floor, among other initatives.

“In the near future, we will have multiple registrar controlled classrooms, including language learning classrooms, throughout the building,” Motolko said in the email. “The building will also be outfitted with shared conference rooms [and] meeting spaces on each floor for any department to use.”

Demetra Schoenig, director of academic enhancement for the Graduate School, said she was in favor of the department’s transition to Bond Hall.

“Bond Hall is an extraordinary building,” Schoenig said. “… Its location is lovely — adjacent to the lakes, the Log Chapel and other buildings that Fr. [Edward] Sorin and his colleagues built in the University’s early years.”

As the graduate school was previously housed in the Main Building, Schoenig said the new space and amenities Bond Hall has to offer will help their department flourish.

“The Graduate School’s ethos is that your research matters, and key to that ethos is that you matter,” Schoenig said. “As a hub for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, undergraduates and faculty alike, Bond Hall’s meeting rooms, auditorium and classrooms will enable us to foster a sense of intellectual community that is at the heart of this ethos.”

Paloma Garcia-Lopez, associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), said her department was the first University unit to move into Bond Hall last spring. With the new space, ILS has room for a scholar’s lounge for students open Monday through Thursday.

Garcia-Lopez said they particularly appreciate their new location with respect to other buildings on campus.

“We feel really blessed because we’re close to the Basilica and the Grotto and the lake, and it’s a really nice place to be,” Garcia-Lopez said. “Everybody seems to walk by the Dome, so we’re getting a lot more connection to the student body, which we really like, and then the other departments that have moved in have just made the building more lively.”

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