Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame, stunned the student body once again this past Thursday with the announcement of a new Project Crossroads, to be built around that one volleyball court outside of St. Liam’s. Three eleven-story buildings will add another 800,000 square feet of classrooms, boardrooms, meeting-rooms, ballrooms, and assorted janitorial closets to a 54.5 million square foot campus where space is extremely limited.
“Here at Notre Dame, we strongly identify with our Catholic commitment,” said Jenkins on Thursday morning at a press release, “The new halls embody the Catholic tradition of Notre Dame.”
Both St. Liam’s Medical Center and Lewis Residence Hall will be torn down to accommodate the new building project. There are no current plans to relocate any of the residents of Lewis, nor any of the medical facilities of St. Liam’s. The grounds will be developed by Kite Realty.
“The court seems very central to our Notre Dame campus,” Jenkins said, who has seen a group of what appeared to be freshmen playing on the court exactly once. “We couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to make this very central part of our campus even more central.”
The Project will cost an estimated $500 million, although the cost is expected to nearly double over the course of two to four years. Several key donors have already contributed to the project. The new buildings will be named Gates Hall, Buffet Family Hall, and the Bezos Student Center—not after donors, Jenkins noted, but after the three richest men in the world.
“We really want to acknowledge those that have made a huge amount of money,” said Jenkins. “None of these men have donated to the University, but we admire their exemplary commitment to commerce.”
The Accounting and Marketing departments of Mendoza will move into Gates Hall, while the English and PLS programs will move into the Gates Hall unfinished basement. The Bezos Student Center will accommodate 60 racquetball courts, seven rock-climbing walls, 40 foosball tables, an indoor cricket pitch, and zero basketball courts. The Buffet Family Hall will be made entirely out of jumbo-trons from ground floor to top. The buildings will offer premium seating for the Rec-Sports official that regulates any and all co-rec sand volleyball games to be held on the court.
The project should be completed by May 2020.
“But don’t expect us to keep to that deadline,” Jenkins noted. “At Notre Dame, we think in God’s time.”
Hap Burke is a junior.