Trustees name student excellence and leadership center; approve academic and residential facilities improvements

July 18, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Board of Trustees on Friday (July 18) approved naming the new student excellence and leadership center for its former chairman and Purdue alumnus Keith Krach.

The board also took a series of actions related to Purdue Moves, including approving construction of an agronomy research laboratory, renovation of an engineering building and proceeding with planning for the new Honors College. Purdue Moves is a range of initiatives introduced by university President Mitch Daniels to broaden Purdue's global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students.

The board also approved an interlocal transit agreement to provide increased bus service at Purdue North Central, a resolution to conduct market sounding for new on-campus housing and a contract to replace a chiller.

The 81,500-gross-square-foot Center for Student Excellence and Leadership facility will be named the Krach Leadership Center in honor of Keith Krach for his business, philanthropic and university leadership. The Krach Leadership Center will house student resources including academic advising, leadership development programs and student organization meeting space. In addition to their generous academic and athletic contributions to Purdue, Keith and his wife, Metta, gave $10 million toward the building’s construction.

Krach earned an industrial engineering degree from Purdue in 1979 and an MBA from Harvard in 1981. He is currently the chairman and CEO of DocuSign in San Francisco, former chairman of the board for Angie's List, and the founder and former CEO of Ariba. He served on the Purdue Board of Trustees from 2007-2013 and as its chairman for two terms. 

"Keith is a highly respected corporate leader and a role model for our students," said Thomas Spurgeon, current Purdue Board of Trustees chair. "His contribution will directly fulfill one of the three major goals of Purdue's New Synergies plan to launch tomorrow's leaders."

The board also provided finance, construct and award approval for the $10 million Agronomy Center Automated Phenotyping and Seed Processing Laboratory. The laboratory will allow Purdue to be a world leader in this new area of phenotyping and to implement new and efficient ways to process vegetation for research. Construction bidding is expected in January, with construction to begin in March at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education on U.S. 52 west of campus. The project will be paid for from university central reserve funds and/or gifts.

The board also provided approval to finance and construct a $6.8 million renovation to the east wing of Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering. As part of the College of Engineering's strategic growth plan, the renovations will improve electrical, climate control and fume ventilation systems in the 76-year-old building to accommodate the research needs of new faculty. Construction is scheduled to begin in June in preparation for occupancy in September 2016. Repair and rehabilitation funds will cover the first $6 million of cost with the remainder coming from departmental funds.

The board approved continued planning and preparatory actions for an approximately 310,000-gross-square-foot residence hall facility with at least 800 beds that will also serve as home to Purdue's new Honors College and be built using the Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc) project delivery method. The CMc project delivery method, allowed by state law as of July 1, provides the flexibility to engage the construction manager/general contractor during the design phase of a project and allows the project owner to secure a guaranteed maximum price prior to construction.

"We anticipate that using the CMc project delivery method will save taxpayers and public institutions like Purdue significant money," said Michael B. Cline, Purdue vice president for physical facilities. "The method's collaborative approach to the construction process maintains operational flexibility while establishing clear responsibility for cost management."

The new facility is designed to promote academic success through development of a living-learning community. It will be built at the southwest corner of Russell and Third streets using revenue bond proceeds, institutional, and housing and food services reserves and gifts.

The board also approved a resolution to plan and implement a market-sounding exercise to determine market interest and potential options for redevelopment of Purdue Village, a historically family-oriented, apartment-style housing area south of State Street. As envisioned, the 8-acre site could accommodate at least 750 apartment-style beds targeted for upper-level undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students. The Purdue Village North Development is the third phase of a plan to add a total of 3,000 on-campus beds, a goal consistent with the Purdue Moves transformative education goal to have at least half of all undergraduates living on campus. The market-sounding exercise will engage an interdisciplinary university team as well as the Purdue Research Foundation to examine innovative procurement models and options for the Purdue Village North Development.

The board approved awarding a $3.56 million construction contract to Freitag-Weinhardt Inc. of Terre Haute, Indiana, to replace Chiller No. 6 at the Wade Utility Plant. The current steam-driven chiller has been supplying chilled water for campus-wide building cooling for 43 years. It will be replaced with two new, more efficient electric chillers. The $8 million total project will be funded from bond proceeds and possibly university funds.

The board also approved a three-year interlocal cooperation agreement for transit service for Purdue North Central that will create a triangle of bus routes between Michigan City, campus and La Porte. The triangle will tie to existing bus routes in Michigan City and extend new routes to campus and La Porte.

The new service comes in response to a student survey indicating interest in public transportation. PNC expects the routes to open access to higher education to prospective students who do not have access to private transportation. Federal air quality improvement grants will pay for 80 percent of the cost with the three local entities pooling funds to make the 20 percent grant match.

On Thursday (July 17) the Physical Facilities Committee approved several items, including:

* Awarding a $2.18 million construction contract to S.M. Wilson & Co., St. Louis, to construct an academic support center on the ground floor of Shreve Hall. The center will include organized and self-directed academic space for students in University Residences. Accessibility and safety will be increased with installation of an elevator, hoistway and sprinklers in adjacent spaces. Housing and Food Services reserve funds will pay for the project.

* Financing and constructing a project to replace and rezone air handling units for the entire Krannert Building. The $4.7 million project will be paid from bond proceeds in the repair and rehabilitation financing program.

* Financing and constructing a renovation to approximately 5,000 square feet of existing lab space on the Biochemistry Building Annex third floor. The $4 million project will bring the currently unoccupied space up to current university-level research standards. The renovations will be paid for from repair and rehabilitation funds.

* Financing and constructing the replacement of the Horticulture Building's electrical distribution system, including the high-voltage vault. The $3 million project will improve safety and reliability and will be paid for from repair and rehabilitation funds.

* Planning to repair or replace concrete in the southwest and southeast corners of the Ross-Ade Stadium seating bowl. Construction on the improvements to the two ends of the horseshoe is expected to begin in January 2016. The $2.7 million project will be paid for from Athletic Department reserve funds.

Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, 

Sources: Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture,

Michael B. Cline, 765-494-8000,

Beth McCuskey, Housing and Food Services associate vice president, 765-494-1022,

James Dworkin, chancellor Purdue University North Central.

Morgan Burke, director of intercollegiate athletics,

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