After 60 years, The Morris Inn is getting a new look, and a whole lot more

Hotel closed for construction and renovation until August, 2013

Morris Inn Construction January 3, 2013

One of the most utilized buildings on campus is undergoing a complete make-over, the first total renovation since its dedication in 1952. The Morris Inn closed its doors at noon on Sunday, October 21st following the October 20th Notre Dame-BYU home game.  When it re-opens in August, 2013, square footage will have increased from 72,000 to 137,500 and number of room keys from 92 to 148. “As the living room of the University, the new Inn will exhibit an attention to detail that respects and honors the University’s history,” said David Harr, associate vice president for auxiliary operations.

The Morris Inn from Notre Dame Avenue

The building of utility infrastructure around the site, which began earlier this summer, is now  completed. Laying the foundation for the new 300-seat ballroom on the north end of the building has begun, as have two other phases of demolition and reconstruction: the expansion and renovation of the existing Inn, and the construction of a new guest room wing on the south end, which necessitated the demolition of the current south wing.

Existing guest rooms will be enlarged from 240 to an average of 360 square feet and feature king size beds. The guest rooms in the new south wing will have a mixture of king and double queen beds. The new south wing will have a fourth floor, adding close to a dozen suites.

The Morris Inn Ballroom Addition

The lobby area will be more than doubled in size. Sorins, not included in the renovation, remains the same. A new bistro will be opened in the front area formerly occupied by the three private dining rooms, which will be relocated adjacent to the ballroom. The east façade of the building will be replaced, and a covered driveway, “porte cochere,” will be erected at the lobby entrance. A new outdoor courtyard with patio will be added to the west side of the building. The existing parking lot will remain as is. The Bookstore parking lot to the south has been expanded to accommodate overflow. Additionally, replacement of the building’s 60-year old plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems is part of the renovation.

“Thanks to the generosity and leadership of long-time Notre Dame friends Ernestine Raclin and her family, The Morris Inn is now positioned to continue the University’s tradition of outstanding hospitality,  service and excellence,” said John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president.

In a joint venture, the architectural and interior design is being provided by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) and Getty’s Hospitality Design. Construction is being arranged by Skanska. The building’s design and construction will seek LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.