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Notre Dame announces Campus Crossroads Project

Jan 29, 2014, 12:19 PM EST

media_stadium_full

Today the University of Notre Dame announced the Campus Crossroads Project, a $400 million building initiative. With the plans of turning Notre Dame Stadium into a centralized, year-round hub on campus, the Campus Crossroads Project will include the construction of over 750,000 square feet of classroom, research, student facility, digital media, performance, meeting, event and hospitality space.

“The integrated nature of this project will maintain the compact walkability of campus, facilitate deeper connection and collaboration across the various units of the University, and offer an exciting addition to what we believe is the best on-campus student learning experience in the country,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, said in the letter to the campus community Wednesday.

The project will consist of three new structures attached to the stadium, on the west, south and east sides of the stadium. The South Building will house the music department, the East Building will house the Psychology and Anthropology departments, in addition to extensive digital media space. The West Building will serve as a student life building, with student organizations, the career center and expanded health and fitness facilities.

One of the most discussed parts of this redesign will likely be the stadium enhancements. Premium seating options, both indoors and out, will be a part of the redesign. The press box will move to the east side of the stadium, relocating media members to the opposite side of the field. Videoboards will also be utilized, with the university using a similar philosophy to the one exercised in the Compton Family Ice Arena and the Purcell Pavilion. Extensive broadband measures will be taken, giving fans the ability to use their cell phones and data plans during football Saturdays.

Building will begin within two years and the project is estimated to take 33 months to complete construction. In addition to the stadium and building enhancements, the basketball program will take over the Rolfs Rec Center, giving Mike Brey and Muffet McGraw’s teams a basketball only practice facility.

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  1. ndfanwabashman - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    I like it. I think changes like video boards and luxury boxes were inevitable. I really like the fact they are eliminating the scoreboard on the North side for a better view of Touchdown Jesus. However, I still have three big questions:

    1.) Field turf?

    2.) Are they taking away the field-level bleachers on the South side of the stadium?

    3.) Who has to mow the grass on top of the buildings?

    • alsatiannd - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Answer 3.) Leprechauns. And you call yourself an ND fan?

    • dickasman - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      No heated toilet seats = “meh”

      • papadec - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Maybe in the luxury suites, dick.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Jan 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        they’ll have a bathroom attendant in a white tux adjusting the heat level on the crapper for you. just make sure to leave him a buck in the dish.

    • wisner74 - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      In terms of mowing the grass, I nominate Loadofwash. It’s a job that suits his apparent talent level.

    • ndadvocate - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Are you from Wabash, IN? The first electrically lighted city in the world?

  2. irishlee10 - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Field turf?????

  3. dudeacow - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    You go to Kyle Field, and you sense the presence of college football better than ever. You go to Tiger Stadium, and your heart immediately starts pumping faster. You go to Death Valley, and the atmosphere blows you away. You go to the Big House, and the tradition mixed with consistent athletic and academic excellence is almost tangible.

    You go to Notre Dame Stadium, and everything else is becomes nothing.

    Well done, Jack.

    • dudeacow - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      I was so close but that second to last sentence has a grammatical error. Not to mention all of the unnecessary commas. Oops.

      • 1historian - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Your ‘oops’ is accepted.

    • dickasman - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      They should put like speed light n red light cameras all over using safety as excuse to make more profit!

  4. dudeacow - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    So, in a nutshell, we will have the most beautiful stadium in all of sports? Okay, I can deal with that.

    • papadec - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      I think it may be closer to a cathedral – as would be fitting for “Our Lady”.

  5. jem5b - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Absolutely love Father Jenkins, and Our Lady’s University.

    http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/01/16/now-pat-eilers/

  6. fnc111 - Jan 29, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Nice looking additions. Get Kelly a real OC and things are looking up.

    Any rails in the new sections for dickas to do blow off of????

  7. mediocrebob - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    I think that the announcements today are simply concerning the educational aspect of the addition. More stadium announcements should come out soon. Rumors circling that field turf will be installed in spring.

    Renderings look cool. Not sure what it does in terms of advantage for the football program though. Take recruits through the new classrooms connected to the stadium? I’m sure recruits are drooling.

  8. 25kgold - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Wait a minute, before we go any further let’s see what Touchdown Jesus’ reaction would be to all of this…

  9. oldschoollyons - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    In one fell swoop, Swarbrick has managed to destroy the classic simplicity and pure sight lines of Notre Dame Stadium. At the same time, he has significantly increased the imprint of football in campus life. Far from integrating football into the academic life of the school, as he claimed, the expansion will make the stadium and its attached buildings into a dominating structure on campus. That’s the opposite of what a football stadium should be.

    Among many other statements that do not pass the laugh test, Swarbrick said the expansion will “support” 11 new graduate departments and 80 new faculty members. How will it do that when none of the graduate departments will be in the expanded blocks attached to the stadium? As Jackie Mason would say: Nobody knows. Nobody says because nobody knows. They just know. What do they know? Nobody knows.

    • ndoneill - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      I disagree with the notion of sight lines being limited; the press box already blocks the west, and frankly there’s nothing interesting to see east and south.

      You do bring up a discomforting point — this move makes football and even more central part of campus, at least psychologically. On the one hand it seems great that the stadium will become a multi-purpose facility serving a larger cross-section of campus — its uses both in kind and in frequency will come to match the stadium’s physical footprint. Yet psychologically the move further entrenches football into the campus’s identity. Of course we’re talking about Notre Dame, and you can’t think of ND without thinking of football, stadium renovation or not. But given the increased scrutiny of the impact revenue-generating athletics has on the academy, I can see how this physical bonding of football to the school can seem like a step in the wrong direction.

    • nddude - Jan 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Let’s connect some buildings to the stadium, what a dumb idea. Put in the turf and leave the rest alone, fer fecks sake!?!

  10. norcalirish - Jan 30, 2014 at 5:52 AM

    Why in the world would you need to attach classrooms to the Stadium with all the land ND has? This doesn’t add up. Look for the football program to take over those classrooms in a decade or so.

    Also, fake plastic grass sucks, and will do nothing except piss off donors.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      why are classrooms included as the various “enhancements” you ask? because it’s much more palatable to embark on a drastic change like this when you couch it in terms of “advancing the educational mission” instead of “this is going to make us a boatload of money.”

  11. bernhtp - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    The haters continually amaze me. I’m sure there would be complaints if they resurfaced the road in front of the Grotto. As for some of the specific complaints:

    – To characterize this as a Swarbrick project is silly, not that there is anything wrong with Swarbrick or his involvement. Only some of this will have an athletic/spectator purpose and it clearly has the sponsorship of all higher levels – Burish, Afleck-Graves, Fr. Jenkins, the board.

    – While the stadium used to be on the edge of campus, this is no longer true. The campus has grown, mostly to the south and increasingly to the east. Putting new facilities around the stadium instead of extending the fringes makes a lot of logistical sense, especially to preserve the walkability of the campus.

    – Sight lines? The sight lines within the stadium are of the field and the blimp overhead. From the outside, the stadium has always obscured the double white domes of the JACC, which is not a bad thing. The west building, in particular, seems to improve the look of the stadium as the existing press box / University Club is less than beautiful. The best view of the campus, though, will be from the east building’s stadium suits (not counting Hesburgh’s office on the Library’s top floor) as well as the windows on the south/west side of the west building. Sight lines only improve, IMO.

    – Not supporting new graduate faculty/facilities? Even if nothing specifically graduate is placed in the new complex, the huge expansion will offload other areas, e.g., moving the psychology dept there frees up Hagar Hall.

    – Making things more football centric? I view it as the opposite. The stadium now is only for football (and graduation), but this project expands its use for academic purposes and (potentially) other sports.

    I have also learned to trust the current university administration even when I don’t understand everything. Few moves they’ve made can be characterized as merely very good; most have been brilliant and even inspired. I have little doubt that this will follow suite.

    • goirishgo - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Best post I’ve read here in quite a while. Thanks Bern.

    • baldyscotsman - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      Bern,

      I don’t comment often, but I have to say that your comment is the best of the day/week concerning the additions to the ND Campus. ND is a School that happens to play football, the football team does generate money but that mission of the school so much more than entertain the masses. I think the additions look great and can’t wait until ground is broken!
      GO IRISH!!!

    • 1historian - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Yours is a good piece except for the opening sentence “The haters continually amaze me.”

      IOW you define ‘haters’ as anyone who disagrees with you. This eliminates any chance at a reasonable discussion of differences or objections.

      To me this almost negates everything that followed, and you did make some good points.

      • bernhtp - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        So you don’t notice a significant group that is reflexively negative on almost everything? This is what I term haters.

        I certainly don’t mind people disagreeing with my thoughts; I welcome it. However, I don’t much care for opinions devoid of facts and coherent analysis. I see a lot of that, unfortunately.

    • ndgoldandblue - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      I don’t think it’s haters as it is curmudgeons. I normally don’t look at other blogs, but I figured I’d check out a few of the other blogs after this news broke. I swear, some of these guys remind me of my ultra-conservative parents, who talk wistfully about a golden age that only existed in their minds. I completely understand a desire to hold on to traditions, but those traditions shouldn’t impede progress. Stick with the nameless jerseys. That shows team camaraderie, and it satisfies the purists. Also, hold on to the academic standards. That’s a tradition that should never go away.

      But, improvements to the stadium? Adding big screens and changing the turf? Seriously, why are these bad things? If holding on to tradition means that the football team has to play on a sloppy mess of a field in a stadium that only gets used seven days a year, I’m for abandoning tradition.

    • dillonbigred - Jan 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      There you go again with facts and actual insight. Change is never good, what was wrong with Cartier Field?

  12. ethil1 - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Looks a lot like Doak Campbell stadium in Tallahassee.

  13. italianirish - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Less than a week from signing day! Anything new on the recruiting front? I assume we’re still trying to flip commits from other schools or land uncommitted folks. What names should I be watching?

    KA: I’d love a more thorough update as a primer before next Wednesday.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      especially about Kolin Hill after his offer from UT. I read something about him “reaffirming” his commitment, but I wasn’t sure what that was all about.

      • papadec - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        4horse – an inhouse visit from ND coaches.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Jan 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        gratzi

      • newmexicoirish - Jan 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Ostensibly Hill reaffirmed his commitment to Notre Dame via twitter. McKenzie is supposed to be on campus tomorrow and is reported to still be a heavy Notre Dame lean. Holding my breath and keeping my fingers crossed – both of which are getting pretty uncomfortable! I think we will finish strong though – Go Irish!

    • papadec - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      italian – Juju Smith, Isiah McKensie, anyone that plays DT.

      • papadec - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Things are changing fast – looks like McKenzie is out & Quick (Fresno) is the one to watch. I don’t know how the coaching staff keeps their collective sanity at this time of year.

  14. joewilliesshnoz - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Brego.

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