Students enjoy versatility of new Library Lawn
John Salem | Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Library Lawn is the newest renovation to Notre Dame’s campus, as the grassy area between Hesburgh Library and Notre Dame Stadium— also known as Library Quad — has been transformed into a hangout space for all students to enjoy.
The quad is dotted with Adirondack chairs, fire pits and umbrellas, allowing students to utilize the lawn, no matter the weather.
“I love the vibe here,” senior Alessandro Preda said about the lawn. “It’s very relaxing and mellow which makes it a great place to hang out,”
Another highlight of the setup is the large black stage, which serves a number of purposes from concerts to live contests. The final section of Library Lawn — the area between the stage and the hangout area — is called ‘The Green’ and is meant to be a place for students to play recreational games such as cornhole and spikeball.
The Library Lawn made its debut last weekend and the Student Activities Office (SAO) put together a number of events to draw in students to the renovated quad. These events ranged from sunset yoga to free frozen yogurt and culminated in a fireworks display Saturday night.
The motivation behind the creation of the lawn are rather simple.
“Everyone at the University was interested in the students having more opportunities for safe, outdoor fun on campus,” Nick Johnson, executive director of ND Innovates, said.
Johnson also said the lawn was a collaborative effort between SAO and University Enterprises and Events, a division of the Office of the Executive Vice president, which is in charge of organizing and executing events on campus year-round. The two groups were inspired by similar renovations done in major metropolitan areas around the country in order to draw more people downtown.
“The Library Lawn project not only makes better use of a beautiful green space framed by iconic buildings, but it’s a perfect location for students to relax,” Jennifer McGuire, athletic director at the University Enterprises and Events division, said.
McGuire said student feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive” as the Notre Dame residents seem to enjoy the new hangout area quite a bit.
“My favorite part of the lawn has gotta be the fire pits, because s’mores!” sophomore Karina Duffy said.
Perhaps the most widely appreciated aspect of the Library Lawn is how many different purposes it serves.
“I really enjoy the fact that, with the comfortable chairs and open spaces, the lawn is a great place to relax with friends and get some work done,” sophomore Hannah Wahle said.
In addition, students enjoy having the room to spread out and enjoy the nice weather.
“I love the lawn,” sophomore Katie Nolan said. “I live in Flaherty and don’t really have access to many open spaces like this.”
Library Lawn isn’t the only renovation that SAO and University Enterprises and Events have planned.
“Plans are afoot to similarly outfit additional space adjacent to the Hesburgh Library,” McGuire said.
The aforementioned space will serve a similar purpose as the current lawn ,but more so will be a quiet area geared towards studying and work space. Both this new space and the current lawn are expected to stay open until the end of October, depending on the weather.
Although Library Lawn has been met with much praise, it seems like there are still some aspects to be worked out down the line.
“I wish the Wi-Fi was better out here,” Preda said.
The lawn is currently open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m on Fridays and Saturdays.