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South Bend, Notre Dame Break Ground at Seitz Park

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE Public Radio


The city of South Bend and the University of Notre Dame broke ground Monday on a joint project in Seitz Park.

For the city, the groundbreaking is about the next phase in the My South Bend Parks and Trails project. For the University, it’s about what’s underground.


A 2.5 megawatt hydroelectric plant, powered by the St. Joe River, will be installed under Seitz Park. Once finished, the plant will provide 7 percent of Notre Dame’s power.  

Paul Kempf is the assistant vice president for utilities and maintenance at Notre Dame. He says the new project nods to the city’s past. 

“The river has been instrumental in producing energy and driving industry in South Bend for over 150 years.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he’s glad to see the project started.

“It’s kind of bittersweet to see this project begin knowing that I won’t be mayor when it’s done but we’re doing everything we can to during the time I’m at the helm to ensure the project goes smoothly.”

To finish the project the University is donating a million dollars to the rebuild of the park. New bathrooms, a concession stand and a performance venue are all in the works. 

The project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2021.