Campus Construction and New Academic Space

“We are in the midst of one of the most ambitious periods of construction in Notre Dame history. When complete, it will bring on line 1.4 million square feet of additional space.”

Anyone who has tried to park on campus in the last couple of years could attest to Fr. Sorin’s prescience about Notre Dame’s development on a large scale. We are in the midst of one of the most ambitious periods of construction in Notre Dame history. When complete, it will bring on line 1.4 million square feet of additional space. Of that space, 80% will be dedicated either to academic use—in the form of faculty offices, research space, classrooms, a digital studio and administrative space for academic programs—or to student life—in the form of new residence halls and a new student center.

I have been asked many times why, if we have roughly the same number of students, why we need this new space. Why so big? Why so much? Why now?

The answer has much to do with the work of you, the faculty. Today at Notre Dame, the research, scholarship and creative work of the faculty demands more space, and we have more students, graduate and undergraduate, involved in that work. 

McCourtney Hall, which is already completed, will open up new collaborations between the College of Science and the College of Engineering. As we commemorate our 175th year, we will—in the fall of 2017—add Nanovic Hall, which will house economics, political science, and sociology, and the connecting Jenkins Hall, which will house the international institutes and the Keough School of Global Affairs. We expect that these new buildings will facilitate much new interaction among these departments and programs. Campus Crossroads will give us a music hall that is actually designed for music—something our music department and new sacred music program have quite rightly been asking for years—as well as Corbett Family Hall with new homes for anthropology and psychology and the Rex and Alice Martin Digital Media Center.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it indicates our belief in the immense capacity of our faculty to lead us in fulfilling Notre Dame’s academic mission—via the work you are already doing, the work you will be doing in years to come, and your ability to help us recruit others to join you.

Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves and his team, including Associate Vice President for Facilities Design and Operations and University Architect Doug Marsh, have been masters of planning and multi-tasking in managing the complex and demanding design and construction schedules involved—as have Lou Nanni, Vice President for University Relations, and his team in helping us secure the benefaction to make these beautiful additions to campus possible.