Construction, Higher Education, and Real Estate

Construction firm 'tops off' Notre Dame project

January 28, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Miller-Davis Notre Dame Hesburgh Library renovation topping-off ceremony
John Jenkins, left, president of the University of Notre Dame, and Rex Bell, president of Miller-Davis, talk during a topping-off ceremony for part of the renovation of Hesburgh Library. Courtesy Miller-Davis

A construction firm in the region has celebrated a milestone in a project for the University of Notre Dame.

Kalamazoo-based Miller-Davis, which also has an office in South Bend, Indiana, said last week that it has held a topping-off ceremony for part of the University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Library renovation in Indiana.

The ceremony was marked by the firm placing the final beam for the entrance gallery portion of the comprehensive library renovation project.

The renovation project started in December 2014 to mark the library’s 50th anniversary. The library is the flagship of the Notre Dame library system and is named after the late Notre Dame President Emeritus Theodore Hesburgh.

The roughly $6-million entrance gallery is part of phase one of the renovation that was designed by the Boston-based architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch.

The entrance gallery is expected to be complete in March. The library's Tower Floor 10 is also included in the project’s first phase.

“The entrance gallery renovation has transformed the library into a more open and collaborative space for students,” said Jack Abate, senior project manager, Miller-Davis. “This topping-out ceremony signifies a pivotal point in the renovation project.”

“Changing demands”

The renovation is meant to help Notre Dame better serve the needs of the modern student.

The library’s 14 stories and 440,000 square feet will be modernized, as much of the space is as it was built in 1963.

Future phases of the renovation will be completed in the coming years.

“The need for library spaces has not changed,” said Diane Walker, a Notre Dame librarian, in 2014. “It’s how we must use our library spaces and what expertise and services we offer our students and faculty that has changed. The mission of the library is, and always has been, to connect people to knowledge. In order to fulfill this mission, we must evolve to meet the changing demands for teaching, learning and research here at Notre Dame.” 

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