Saint Mary's College Begins Multi-Million Dollar Facility Upgrade

NOTRE DAME, Ind., (Aug. 14, 2019) – More than $2.5M of upgrades are in progress for Saint Mary’s College, the Catholic, residential, liberal arts college in Notre Dame, Ind., as the start of the 2019–20 school year nears. 

The efforts are just the kickoff of a major, multi-year facilities upgrade for the 140-acre campus, for which the College is seeking a $51 million bond, subject to St. Joseph County Commissioners’ approval. The Saint Mary’s College Board of Trustees approved a plan in June to uphold the school’s highest health-safety standards, increase overall energy efficiency, and to make aesthetic enhancements for the students, faculty, staff, and other community members who make use of the facilities. 

“We began our efforts at the end of the spring semester and the campus has truly transformed over the summer, said Saint Mary’s Vice President for Strategy and Finance Dana Strait, PhD,  “We are thankful to have a healthy endowment and a budget to support our campus’ rich history, maintain our high standards for students, and fulfill our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.”

“From choosing energy-efficient lighting and window materials to the installation of energy-monitoring meters, the campus is looking to enhance its resources in every possible way,” Strait added. “The bonus will be seeing students’ reactions as they return from summer break to the beautiful Saint Mary’s campus. These enhancements take us to the next level.”

Strait said the upgrades in progress include:

  • Sidewalk repair, new accessibility ramps, and parking lot striping;
  • Installation of interior and exterior replacement to LED lighting;
  • Cushwa-Leighton Library enhancements including a new 24-hour study space, painting, carpeting, flooring, seating, study carrels, and a Starbucks coffee bar;
  • Complete gut renovation of the first floor of McCandless Hall with a focus on improved common spaces for student gathering;
  • Enhancements to the first floor of Le Mans Hall, including additional lighting for improved study conditions, conversion of fireplaces from nonfunctioning to gas-powered, and the renovation of a historic room to create a reception area for prospective students; 
  • Dining hall and cafe improvements including a rebranding of the “Cyber Café” to the “1844 Grill”; Sodexo is funding these improvements alongside the launch of a refreshed menu and Starbucks coffee options;
  • Surface renovations in Holy Cross Hall, including hardwood floor refinishing in its historic student residences;
  • Window replacement, tuckpointing, and other foundation work to buildings across the campus.

Strait said that upon approval of the bond by the St. Joseph County Commissioners later this month, Trustees and College officials will meet to finalize the capital improvements plan, complete with input from the Saint Mary’s community.

UPDATE: The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners approved the bond ordinance, the final step of County approval, on August 20, 2019.

About Saint Mary's College: Celebrating over 175 years of empowering women to make a difference in the world, Saint Mary’s College is recognized as a pioneer and continued force in the education of women. A Catholic, liberal arts institution in Notre Dame, Indiana, the College offers more than 50 undergraduate academic programs and also offers co-educational master’s degrees.

Contact for News MediaDonna Fischman, Director of Integrated Communications, Saint Mary’s College, 284-4579