Purdue trustees lay groundwork for State Street corridor, OK campus projects

February 12, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday (Feb. 12) approved preparatory actions to lay the foundation for a joint project with the city of West Lafayette to reimagine and reinvigorate the State Street corridor that runs through the heart of campus.

The board approved a resolution and memorandum of understanding outlining preliminary actions to advance the State Street corridor and development of the so-called “western lands,” which lie adjacent to this corridor in the area between Purdue’s campus and U.S. 231. Trustees also approved a land parcel exchange with Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) to support future commercial development of the western lands.

Based upon a master plan developed through a collaborative community process and finalized in 2014, the proposed project to redevelop the State Street corridor is in its early stages and will be pursued contingent upon approval by the City of West Lafayette. The memorandum of understanding, which is subject to City Council approval, sketches a preliminary approach to defining project scope and schedule, the procurement process, and potential funding mechanisms.

“The proposal to redevelop State Street represents the shared vision of the city, the university and the Purdue Research Foundation to create a corridor designed to enhance the experience of residents, businesses, students and visitors alike,” said Michael B. Cline, vice president for Physical Facilities. “This project would transform State Street into a vibrant destination that integrates all forms of travel, enhances area aesthetics and promotes economic development in the community.”

The resolution provides the initial authorization necessary for Purdue to move forward with the city in a concerted effort to identify and design the delivery mechanism for the project, including the possibility of procurement via a public-private partnership.

“Today’s board action represents a key first step in bringing this project to market,” said Steven R. Schultz, legal counsel to Purdue and its Board of Trustees. “Much work lies ahead, and the proposal remains subject to the necessary city approvals, but the MOU provides an essential road map for where we go from here. We look forward to working with our West Lafayette partners on this historic opportunity.”

Other actions spelled out by the resolution include requests for assistance from PRF on the following:

* Completing the planning, design and construction of a new child care facility to be located west of campus. The resolution specifies a funding commitment by the university in the form of a lease of approximately 20 years with annual payments not exceeding $500,000.

* Completing the planning, design and construction of certain infrastructure improvements in the western lands, including the reconfiguration of the Todd’s Creek channel and its floodplain.

* Commencing contingency planning for future construction of a potential office facility in the western lands to replace Freehafer Hall, which lies in the anticipated right-of-way of one segment of the Perimeter Parkway. This segment is integral to the State Street project, as it would complete a loop around the southern edge of campus to allow for the diversion of traffic away from State Street. The resolution authorizes PRF to take the necessary steps to proceed with the building’s planning and design.

Trustees also agreed to exchange the university-owned Intramural Black Fields for PRF-owned land that surrounds the Purdue Airport, with both sets of parcels carrying appraised values of roughly $5.9 million. The nearly 400 acres owned by PRF includes land either planned for future academic development or not in use because it falls within the airport’s “runway protection zones.” The 28 acres currently owned by the university has future development potential.

The board’s Physical Facilities Committee on Wednesday (Feb. 11) also approved the following projects, which do not require full board approval:

* A $2.79 million construction contract with J.C. Ripberger Construction Corp. of Zionsville, Indiana, for third-floor renovations to the Biochemistry Building annex. Work will include renovations to bring existing lab space up to university research standards, and space will be reconfigured to create a flexible, open-concept lab and two offices. Existing mechanical systems will be replaced or upgraded as needed to support the improvements. The project will be financed through repair and rehabilitation funds. Construction is scheduled to begin this month, and the facility is slated to be ready for occupancy in November.

* A $2.87 million project to address concrete repairs and replacement in the southwest and southeast areas of Ross-Ade Stadium. CE Solutions Inc. of Carmel, Indiana, is the architect/engineer for the project to complete the concrete work in the stadium’s seating bowl of the southern-most sections, originally built in 1924, and to apply a traffic coating. The Physical Facilities Committee provided finance and construct approval and the Ross-Ade Foundation will be requested to participate in the project, which will be funded by athletic department reserve funds. Work is scheduled to begin in January 2016 and be completed in July 2016. 

Sources: Michael B. Cline, 765-494-8000

Steven R. Schultz, schult51@purdue.edu 

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