Purdue trustees approve new residence hall, food services building

July 20, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (July 20) approved construction of a new residence hall, student center, food stores building and renovations to an aerospace propulsion lab.

The Physical Facilities Committee on Thursday (July 19) approved a construction contract for renovations to Young Hall, planning for tunnel repairs under the Mathematical Sciences Building, and financing and construction of bathroom renovations in Harrison Residence Hall. The committee also approved a contract for a new pedestrian bridge to serve the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus.

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. of Indianapolis received the $28 million contract to build the new 304-bed Vawter Field residence hall. The hall is designed to be an attractive option for upperclassmen and for "learning community" clusters of students who not only live together but also pursue similar academic studies.

"Research and our experience shows that when students live on campus, particularly with their academic cohorts, they are more likely to succeed," said Barbara Frazee, executive director of University Residences.

The hall will also include a small restaurant and convenience store. University Residences will pay $7 million toward completion of the $37.4 million project, with the remainder coming from student facilities system revenue bond proceeds.

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. also received the $19.6 million contract to build the adjacent Center for Student Excellence and Leadership, which includes space for programs that help increase student retention and success. The building will house student government and student organizations, along with areas for studying, tutoring, counseling, designing, working and storage.

Big Ten Network revenue will contribute $11.8 million toward the $29.5 million project, with the remainder coming from gifts.

The board approved planning for a $22 million culinary support center that will replace the food stores building being demolished to make way for the proposed Agricultural and Life Sciences Building in the Life and Health Sciences Park on the south end of campus. The building provides storage, production and distribution functions for an array of dining courts, restaurants and retail food outlets across campus. The entire project will be paid for from departmental funds.

The board also approved a $5.5 million high-voltage supply upgrade to the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories to improve safety at the labs, located on the west end of the Purdue Airport.

The Physical Facilities Committee approved a $3 million contract for J.R. Kelly Co. of Lafayette, Ind., to renovate the second and third floors of Young Hall and part of the basement. The project will create offices, conference rooms and restrooms to house the Center for Career Opportunities and the College of Technology. The project will be paid for from the capital reserve for buildings.

The committee also approved financing and construction for a $3 million renovation to bathrooms on the first five floors of the Harrison Residence Hall south tower. This project is phase two of nine designed to improve the appearance and privacy of the bathrooms. Departmental funds will pay for the renovation.

The committee also approved planning of renovations to the underground tunnel beneath and adjacent to the Mathematical Sciences Building. The $3.35 million project will waterproof the tunnel, replace drinking and chilled water piping, and provide surface-level landscaping to disturbed areas.

The committee also approved planning and a project coordination contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation for a $4.5 million pedestrian bridge over Coliseum Boulevard in Fort Wayne that will connect the IPFW and Ivy Tech campuses. The bridge will tie IPFW into a greenway trail system and improve access to the campus from south of State Road 930.

Committee approval is contingent upon IPFW finalizing a revised funding plan. If the project moves forward, INDOT would be responsible for the bridge's construction.

"This bridge will enhance the university's commitment to creating a campus that is even more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly," said Walt Branson, interim chancellor.

Writer: Jim Schenke, jschenke, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources: Robert McMains, vice president for physical facilities, 765-494-8000, remcmains@purdue.edu

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

               Walt Branson, 765-260-481-6804, branson@ipfw.edu

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