SOUTH BEND — With the opening Monday of three academic halls attached to Notre Dame Stadium, the university’s massive $400 million Campus Crossroads project is complete, integrating the iconic football venue with everyday student life.
While portions of Duncan, O’Neill and Corbett Hall opened last fall to accommodate stadium improvements, the academic portions were recently completed in time for students returning this week from winter break.
The nine-floor Duncan Student Center, on the west side of the stadium, features new recreation, academic and extracurricular spaces for Notre Dame students, faculty and staff.
The facility isn’t a replacement for the LaFortune Student Center, but rather billed as a complement to the longtime student nucleus.
A towering brick structure with ample windows intended to maximize natural light, the Duncan Student Center is expected to serve a wide range of needs for the university’s student body. It features meeting rooms, two floors of recreational sports facilities, student media space, a rock climbing wall, indoor track, career services center, seventh-floor ballroom and three new “micro-restaurants” that will be open to the public.
The restaurants include Southeast-Asian inspired cuisine at Star Ginger, fresh farm-to-table products at Modern Market and coffee, gelato, crepes and baked-daily pastries at Hagerty Family Café.
Chris Abayasinghe, director of campus dining, said prior to opening the three restaurants the university served about 2.1 million dining hall meals and 2 million retail meals per year.
“We expect about a 20 percent lift on that now,” Abayasinghe said.
With a focus on menu authenticity and fresh ingredients, Abayasinghe said the new dining options are designed to fit a diverse student body with expanding global palates.