Recent construction completed to address unanticipated foot traffic
“Things we found since re-opening” is the way Joe Kurth, director and general manager of Morris Inn, put it as he explained new construction just completed at the Inn. The original design for the Inn’s 2012-2013 renovation was based on normal hotel traffic. It did not allow for the enhanced foot traffic experienced at Notre Dame on special event weekends such as home football games, Commencement, Alumni Reunion Weekend, etc.
“We have received the Four Diamond designation two years in a row, as well as overwhelmingly positive comments on our guestrooms and restaurants. Now that we have lived in the space, we have identified some minor areas to improve guest experience,” said Kurth.
First among these is the ability to expeditiously move guests back and forth between the Inn and the Notre Dame Conference Center in McKenna Hall via the underground corridor space. Mobility is limited by the fact that there are only two elevator cars and no stairs in the lower level of the Inn up to the lobby. A new staircase was built from the lower level to the Gift Shop on the first floor, thereby eliminating long waits for an elevator.
The corridor is symbolic of the unification of Morris Inn and Notre Dame Conference Center into one entity, and a major campus attraction in its own right. Brightly painted murals depicting seasonal campus scenes line the walls, in addition to individual stories from the deans of each College, First Year of Studies, Hesburgh Libraries and the Graduate School. “It is a great place to experience Notre Dame,” said Kurth.
Additionally, the lobby restrooms were found to be too small. Both the men’s and women’s bathrooms have been doubled in size and an accessible family restroom, including a changing table, have been added.
Lastly, to provide additional warmth for the lobby area, an air curtain was added at the front entrance to the hotel.