Purdue names health sciences, engineering buildings

December 17, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Saturday (Dec. 17) approved the naming of two new academic facilities and four contracts each in excess of $2 million.

The health and human sciences building will be named Lyles-Porter Hall in honor of the family of the lead donor, alumna Marybeth Lyles Higuera.

The design of the $54 million facility, which will be home to the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, will include an 850-vehicle parking garage and incorporate the Indiana University School of Medicine - Lafayette; the M.D. Steer Audiology and Speech-Language Clinics; the Psychology Treatment and Research Clinics; Nursing Center for Family Health; the A.H. Ismail Center for Health, Exercise and Nutrition; the Nutritional Training and Research Center; and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination Suite.

Lyles Higuera earned a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing in 1959 before working in public schools in California where she designed and implemented the district's first speech therapy program. Her grandfather taught at Purdue, and her parents, father-in-law, brothers and son all graduated from Purdue. Lyles Higuera pledged $10 million for the building, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2014.

"Naming this building to honor Marybeth's family is an appropriate recognition of her generosity and fundraising leadership," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "Lyles-Porter Hall will provide an environment where we can expand our clinical and research work in such areas as dementia, Alzheimer's disease, autism, hearing aids and cochlear implants, voice disorders, and others health challenges by providing new laboratory, clinical, teaching and office space."

Lyles-Porter Hall is the first step in Purdue's planned Life and Health Sciences Park to promote research and careers in biosciences.

"This facility, and its association with a campus hub dedicated to life and health sciences, provides us with incredible opportunities," said Christine Ladisch, inaugural dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "We will be able to expand our clinical and research work, which will directly benefit our faculty and the quality of our students' educational experiences. We will also continue to reach out with the high level of expertise and compassionate care that the public has come to associate with our clinical programs."

Trustees also approved naming the School of Mechanical Engineering's new thermal sciences flexible laboratory spaces in the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories as the Willis Carrier Laboratory in recognition of an in-kind gift from Carrier Corp. The $1.5 million gift provides equipment for the Phase 1 rebuilding and expansion plans of the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories.

"These new facilities will significantly enhance current research capabilities and attract the best and brightest young faculty and graduate students," said Anil Bajaj, William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering.

Trustees also approved the following contracts:

* A $2.2 million property insurance policy contract with Factory Mutual Insurance Co. of Park Ridge, Ill. The policy provides a blanket $1 billion of coverage with an underlying deductible of $250,000 per incidence.

* A $2.37 million one-year extension for 2012 of a contract with Elsevier B.V. of New York City to digitally provide nearly 900 science and engineering scholarly journals. Journal downloads at Purdue numbered approximately 750,000 in 2010.

* A $2.9 million, 10-year contract with TouchNet Information Systems Inc. of Lenexa, Kan., to provide e-commerce software and hosting for all four Purdue campuses. The service allows Purdue to more easily buy and sell goods and services online as well as electronically conduct student transactions.

* A $6.1 million contract with Peabody Coal Sales to provide up to 80,000 tons of stoker coal in 2012. The price calculates to a $14 per ton decrease from the 2011 contract. Indiana-based Peabody/Coal Sales has been the university's sole coal provider for several years. By state law, Purdue is required to buy Indiana coal.

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

Sources:   Robert McMains, vice president for physical facilities, remcmains@purdue.edu

                   Christine Ladisch, 765-494-8210, ladischc@purdue.edu

                   Anil Bajaj, 765-494-6896, anil.k.bajaj.1@purdue.edu