Sarah Cahalan | January 22, 2018
On a brisk January morning my senior year, my friends and I awoke to a big piece of campus news. A new construction project was coming, administrators said, that would be unlike anything the university had previously attempted. Boasting three massive buildings and the promise of a new student center and enhanced stadium facilities, it would be known as Campus Crossroads.
We were, to put it mildly, skeptical. We didn’t like the price tag, or the attempt to make the football stadium the center of campus life. We definitely didn’t like the Jumbotron (and yes, I know it’s not a Jumbotron). In quiet mutterings under our breath, we also didn’t like that future students might get another shot at the Panda Express that we’d been so cruelly denied in the 2012 renovations of LaFun.
Four years later, the final building of the Campus Crossroads project has officially opened for business — and even I have to admit, this thing is pretty cool.
For those who don’t know, or could use a refresher, the basic layout of the project is this. On the east side of the stadium, the nine-story Corbett Family Hall houses the departments of psychology (starting this spring) and anthropology and the expansive new Martin Media Center, home to the University's multimedia services. On the south end, the music department occupies the seven-story O’Neill Hall. Over on the stadium’s west side stands the nine-story Duncan Student Center, which includes three new micro-restaurants and the multi-level Smith Center for Recreational Sports.
My tour of the buildings on Monday, January 15, began with O’Neill, the new digs of the Department of Music and SMND, the Program in Sacred Music at Notre Dame. I spent many an evening in Crowley Hall of Music as an undergrad rehearsing for concerts and plays, so I feel I can attest that this building is a serious upgrade to the department’s former home. The hall features two state-of-the-art performance spaces, one a minimalist and modern “white box” and the other a more traditional recital hall with seating for 170 — which venues music department head Peter Smith describes as the building’s Greenwich Village and Park Avenue.