Trustees approve Purdue capital program actions

February 4, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Feb. 4) approved a contract to build a baseball stadium and make major upgrades to the varsity women's soccer complex on the West Lafayette campus.

The $21 million baseball stadium, to be financed with athletic department funds, could eventually seat up to 2,500 spectators in the first phase of improvements to the Northwest Athletics Complex that includes the adjacent soccer facility. The intercollegiate baseball stadium will replace the existing 1,100-seat Lambert Field, which has been the team's home since 1965.

"The quality of the new stadium's field will help Purdue remain competitive in recruiting, while providing amenities to enhance the fans' experience," said Purdue Athletics director Morgan R. Burke.

Trustees approved a $17.4 million construction contract with Indianapolis-based Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. The project is scheduled to be completed by April 1, 2012.

On Thursday (Feb. 3) the board's Physical Facilities Committee approved a request to purchase land for a new Purdue Musical Organizations facility, an agreement to lease space for a new engineering hall and a construction contract for a new data center.

Purdue Musical Organizations will use $922,000 in gift funds to buy real estate on the south side of the intersection of North Grant Street and Northwestern Avenue as the future site of the Ralph and Bettye Bailey Hall. PMO's new home will provide space for six choral ensembles and a bell choir in addition to custom-designed rehearsal, recording and study space.

"Having a new home will raise awareness of PMO programs and boost recruitment efforts," said PMO director William Griffel.

The hall will be paid from gifts. For the past 70 years PMO has been housed throughout six floors in Elliott Hall of Music.

The committee also approved an agreement for the university to lease space from the Purdue Research Foundation for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Hayes Triangle Project to be built on Northwestern Avenue across from the Purdue Mall.

Purdue would contribute $18 million for construction of Seng-Liang Wang Hall of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the south end of the complex and lease the space on favorable terms for 30 years. That portion of the complex will house research laboratories and faculty, staff and graduate student office space.

"The new facility will provide a significant upgrade to existing laboratories, offices, conference rooms and support facilities," said Leah H. Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering.

Nearly $15 million in gifts will be used to construct the hall, with the remainder coming from the capital reserve for buildings.

The committee also approved a $2.15 million construction contract with J.R. Kelly Co. of Lafayette, Ind., to renovate the Math Sciences Research Data Center. The $2.95 million project will increase the center's electrical and cooling capacity to support the installation of two more research computing clusters over the next two years.

The project will be funded primarily by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant designed to energize research through improved infrastructure. Departmental funds will pay for the remainder.

The committee also approved a request to increase the authorization for a cooling tower replacement at Purdue University Calumet from $1.5 million to $2.7 million . During construction it was determined that much of the cooling tower's electrical and mechanical infrastructure also needed to be replaced. Purdue Calumet reserve funds are being used for the project.

Writer:  Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262,

Sources:   Morgan Burke, 765-494-3189,

                    William Griffel,

                    Leah Jamieson, 765-494-5346,