March 02, 2018

University of Notre Dame: Reimagining the Heart of Campus


The Campus Crossroads Project is the largest building initiative in the history of the University of Notre Dame. The project has transformed Notre Dame Stadium into a year-round hub for academic and student life. With the addition of Corbett Family Hall, Duncan Student Center and O’Neill Hall the university has added approximately 800,000 square feet of classroom, research, student life, media, performance, meeting, event, and hospitality space. The three new buildings of the Campus Crossroads project bring together diverse disciplines to engage in a collaborative and multidisciplinary experience that enhance student life beyond seven Saturdays a year.

The Intersection of Academics, Athletics and Student Life

Following the 2014 football season, the construction team worked through one of the coldest winters on record to relocate the site’s underground utilities and drill 2,800 auger-cast piles that support each of the 3 new buildings. During excavation, over 110,000 cubic yards of dirt were removed from the site – enough to fill a football field sized hole that is 50 feet deep.

“Now the plan, born in sketches, stands before us in Corbett Family Hall, Duncan Student Center and O'Neill Hall. They are an expression of Notre Dame's commitment to a distinctive kind of education. One that develops mind, body and spirit for service to the world.”
-Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., University President

Building on a three to four-story base, the upper stories of the Campus Crossroads buildings progressively step back from the buildings’ base, and are meant to appear as if they unfold from those lower stories. Constructing the buildings in this manner creates an optical illusion, allowing the buildings to blend into a campus where most building are only 3 or 4 stories high.

Game Day Ready

Early on, the team planned to phase the construction around the Fighting Irish’s home and away football schedule in such a manner that all work was completed with the stadium operating “business as usual” through two football seasons. Clean up, safety inspections and site logistics had to be address before the Thursday evening turnovers so that the University could take control of the site on Friday allowing vendors, media and game day operations to move in to prep for Saturday games. Construction crews would regain control of the site on Monday mornings.

Barton Malow planned for game day using a 3D model to visualize what the site would look like on game day. This included where over 3,000 feet of fencing would be located, how pedestrian and vehicle traffic would flow and where to park the project’s massive crane, a Manitowac 2250. All parking was to be returned for normal use, all gates were to be available for access to and from the stadium, and all areas that were paved previously were to have temporary asphalt in place.

Enhancing the House that Rockne Built

A visit to the stadium is often on the bucket-list of fans near and far. A redesigned concourse pays homage to the original stadium with vintage signage, art deco lighting and bricked columns.

Seating improvements include the addition of vinyl-clad benches throughout the stadium, replacing the wood bench seats, which have been widened about 2 inches each. The weathered redwood benches with original seat numbers intact, now provide an historic artifact applied to many interior spaces throughout each of the buildings.

Other enhancements include new locker rooms for Notre Dame players and visiting team, the addition of a 96-by-54-foot Diamond Vision high-definition video board and sideline ribbon video boards, upgraded concession stands and restroom facilities and the addition of 150 television monitors throughout the concourse.

Read the full issue of BUILD 18.1 | Higher Education: Research and Collaborative Concepts Bringing Multiple Disciplines Together