University of Notre Dame plans to upgrade its library Photo courtesy of Notre Dame.

University of Notre Dame plans to upgrade its library

The Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame is undergoing a major renovation. The redesign will include major structural changes, as well as technological enhancement.

Some changes will include a north entrance with more natural light and new technology to support digital research and scholarship, the South Bend Tribune reported. The project will not alter the 14-story structure’s most famous feature, an exterior mosaic of Jesus Christ with arms outstretched. The mosaic is formally titled “Word of Life,” but is better known as “Touchdown Jesus.”

The first phase of the project will cost about $10 million and will include a renovation the north-south central section of the first and second floors, as well as the entire 10th floor, according to University Librarian Diane Walker. Complete renovation of the entire library could take five to 10 years, and will proceed floor by floor as fundraising goals are met.

Some of the planned renovations include structural changes to more closely link the first and second floors, each about the size of a football field. Skylights will be installed on the roof of the second floor, and large openings will be cut between the first and second floors, uniting the floors and creating an atrium-like atmosphere with natural light flowing from the skylights to the ground floor, according to the South Bend Tribune. Staircases will also be added between the two floors.

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