Purdue trustees approve new residence hall, student center, fitness center

April 8, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (April 8) approved planning a new residence hall, construction of a student activities building, and additional renovations at the Student Fitness and Wellness Center.

The trustees, meeting on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, also approved the renovation of a historic residence hall and installation of a new sprinkler system at the university's main concert hall.

The new residence hall to be built on Vawter Field between Wiley and Windsor residence halls will include up to 300 beds, a small restaurant and possibly a convenience store. The $38 million facility will be designed to be LEED-certified energy efficient.

"The demand for safe, comfortable, affordable housing remains high, especially when it is so conveniently located at the center of campus," said Barbara Frazee, executive director of University Residences. "Our residence halls provide a supportive community that has been proven to increase student retention and success at the university."

Scholer Corp. of Lafayette, Ind., received the Vawter Field housing design contract. The project will be funded with $7.6 million in university residence funds with the rest coming from proceeds from bonds to be repaid from student residential rental fees. No university general funds or state money will be used.

Vawter Field housing will be designed and built in coordination with the Center for Student Excellence and Leadership to be built on Vawter Field at the intersection of Martin Jischke Drive and Third Street. The 85,000-square-foot center will include space for student retention and success programs, student organizations, and student meeting, work, study and counseling areas.

"This center will create a vibrant space where intentional student leadership development and collaboration will be encouraged and flourish," said Tony Hawkins, associate vice president for Student Affairs. "The center will foster and bolster the facets of student life that make the college experience so formative and memorable, as well as make our graduates more marketable to employers."

The $30 million building will be funded with $18 million in gifts and $12 million in Big Ten Network revenue. The center also will be LEED-certified for energy efficiency.

The trustees also approved a $7.4 million construction contract for Kettlehut Construction Inc. of Lafayette, Ind., to renovate the historic Vawter Hall building in the Windsor Residence Halls Complex. Vawter Hall will receive air conditioning, a new elevator, new electrical and mechanical systems, improved fire safety and accessibility, and new or repaired architectural features.

The project will be financed completely through $9.8 million in student facilities system revenue bonds. Vawter Hall is the fifth and final building to be renovated in the complex that was once home to Amelia Earhart.

The trustees approved three construction contracts totaling $36.5 million as part of the ongoing renovation and expansion of the Recreational Sports Center. D.A. Dodd Inc. of Rolling Prairie, Ind., received a $17 million contract to provide all heating, ventilation and plumbing for the building that is evolving into the Student Fitness and Wellness Center. Hagerman Inc. of Ft. Wayne, Ind., received a $9.5 million contract to install concrete flooring, wall framing, drywall and a glass curtain wall. Huston Electric Inc. of Lafayette, Ind., received an $8 million contract to provide all the building's electricity, lighting and audiovisual components.

The $98 million renovation will reshape a building that has served well for more than five decades and bring it on par with similar facilities at leading peer institutions. The project is being financed completely through bond proceeds to be repaid with student fees.

On Thursday (April 7) the trustees' Physical Facilities Committee approved a $2.2 million construction contract to Glenroy Construction Co. of Indianapolis to install a fire suppression sprinkler system in the Elliott Hall of Music. The $3.2 million project will be paid for from university repair and rehabilitation funds.

The committee also approved a change order to the Libraries Archives and Special Collection project that will allow for replacement of deteriorating roof sections above the new archives on the fourth floor of Stewart Center. The $294,600 necessary for the change will come from newly available American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Writer:  Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources:   Barbara Frazee, 765-494-1000, bjfrazee@purdue.edu

                   Tony Hawkins, 765-494-1233, lthawkins@purdue.edu