(A monthly letter from President Martin C. Jischke)
A major focus of Purdues five-year strategic plan is a significant facilities upgrade designed to enhance our students educational experiences, improve the facultys research capabilities and position the University to better engage the people and institutions of Indiana.
Fourteen months into implementation of the strategic plan, the facilities portion is going strong. Construction cranes and bulldozers are working busily; the West Lafayette campus skyline seems to change from week to week; and our students, staff and regular visitors have gotten used to the constant rerouting of traffic.
We have more new construction in progress now than at any time in Purdues history. The high volume of work causes some problems, but I think everyone recognizes that the end result will more than make up for the temporary inconvenience.
Here are brief summaries of some of the major projects under way right now on the West Lafayette campus:
Discovery Park: We have just begun preparing the site for this $100 million interdisciplinary research and education area. It will include the Birck Nanotechnology Center, the Bindley Bioscience Center, the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and an electronic enterprise center. Discovery Park has the potential to transform Indianas economy by accelerating the movement of leading-edge research from the laboratory to the marketplace. The majority of funding for these centers is from private donations.
Visual and Performing Arts Building: The Universitys academic arts programs will move to their new $38 million home from scattered locations, including five Quonset huts built as temporary facilities more than 50 years ago. The state provided $20.75 million for the building. The remainder will come from the University and private donations.
Chiller Plant: This $13 million facility is not glamorous, but it is an essential part of the campus utility infrastructure.
Jerry S. Rawls Hall: Purdues Krannert School of Management already internationally renowned will move to an even higher level with the completion of this $35 million building that will include state-of-the art classrooms. Construction is being financed entirely with gifts. Jerry Rawls, a California entrepreneur with a Krannert degree, provided a $10 million gift to show his appreciation for Purdue and to create opportunities for future generations of students.
Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center: The Purdue Alumni Association and the Universitys Advancement staff will have new homes in this $16 million facility, also paid for entirely with private donations. Industrialist and Purdue graduate Dick Dauch and his wife provided the lead gift. Another alumnus, Tom Spurgeon, has contributed to the creation of a Hall of Achievement that will showcase highlights from Purdues past and present for visitors to the building.
Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering: Located south of campus, this remarkable laboratory will be one of the nations best facilities for testing the ability of buildings, bridges and other large structures to withstand damage from a variety of forces. Purdue civil engineering graduate Bob Bowen and his wife provided a gift of $3.5 million for the $11 million facility. The remainder of the construction cost also will come from private donations.
Ross-Ade Stadium Renovation: The storied home of Boilermaker football is nearing the end of a three-year $70 million transformation that includes a spectacular new press box, club seating and vastly improved amenities for all fans. Larger seats, wider aisles, improved concessions and expanded rest rooms also are part of the renovation, which will be paid for entirely from athletic revenues and private donations.
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering: Purdue has renamed this building in honor of Robert and Marilyn Forney, who have made a $10 million gift to the school where they both earned degrees. The Forneys gift was the key to a five-story $19.5 million addition that will make Purdues School of Chemical Engineering one of the best equipped in the nation.
Stadium Avenue Dining Court: This free-standing food service operation is part of a six-year master plan that will upgrade dining for students on campus. The $48 million building will be funded from housing and food service revenues.
These projects and others that are on the horizon will help take Purdue to new levels of excellence in a wide range of programs. We are transforming the University!