While the highly anticipated openings of the Duncan Student Center, Corbett Family Hall, O’Neill Hall, Jenkins and Nanovic Halls may have caught our attention, the Facilities, Design & Operations team has also been diligently coordinating key makeover projects of several residence halls over the recent years.
One of the primary hurdles during any residence hall renovation project is how to repurpose the hundreds of pieces of student room and lounge furniture being removed prior to renovations. Although the furniture will no longer work in the newly-renovated buildings, it still has a lot of life left to give.
For the past several years, Joline Lock, Interiors Project Manager for FD&O has coordinated partnerships with various local and global companies to help charities in need. This past May, the University of Notre Dame, through a partnership with Asset 360, provided furnishings to a number of organizations in seven different countries, giving new meaning to the term second chances.
From Badin, Pasquerilla East, and Fisher Residence Halls came 2,674 pieces of furniture, and, as you can imagine, shipping that many pieces was no easy task, but the moving & storage crew managed to fit every piece of furniture into 20 shipping containers. In all, 216,436 pounds were shipped to various locations in El Salvador, Trinidad, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, and Ghana, diverting more than 108 tons of waste from the landfill. The Dominican Republic received two containers which were shared between several of the Salesian schools, a local seminary, and homes for at-risk boys and girls.
In 2016, the University partnered with IRN, The Reuse Network, which assisted in the donation of more than 2,200 pieces of furniture from Walsh and Knott Halls, to Habitat for Humanity here locally as well as Food for the Poor in Jamaica.
Large-scale renovations are not the only projects that create the need for repurposing furnishings. The Welsh Family Lounge recently received updated décor, sending 200 pieces to Notre Dame Surplus Property. FurnishND, the furniture management program for faculty and staff, also receives furniture from campus renovations, thereby providing the entire campus with the opportunity to be responsible environmental stewards for the University.
Said Lock, “Each year we will continue to reach out and donate as much as we can to communities and countries in need so that we can share our faith, community, excellence, tradition, and education to the world.”