Trustees OK Ag and Life Sciences facility, equine center, runway project

May 15, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A new $60 million Agricultural and Life Sciences Facility that was designated as the university’s top priority in a 10-year capital plan submitted to the state was given the green light to move forward by Purdue’s Board of Trustees on Friday (May 15).

The board also took actions to advance an equine center in Shelbyville, Indiana; make significant runway improvements at the Purdue Airport; approve the final term of a procurement tool to advance campus projects in a timely manner; and sign a development agreement for the State Street corridor project.

Trustees authorized planning, financing, construction and awarding of a construction contract for the approximately 123,000 gross-square-foot Agricultural and Life Sciences Facility complex, to be built at the intersection of S. Russell and Harrison streets. The building will consolidate Department of Animal Sciences students, faculty and staff into a unified complex to better coordinate teaching, research and engagement activities, as well as provide needed upgrades to teaching, research and meat lab facilities.

“This new location will provide the facilities needed to maintain our continued recognition as a premier program and attract top students and faculty, as well as to support the animal industries in our state and around the world at the highest levels,” said Jay Akridge, Purdue’s Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. “In addition, the location near the Life and Health Sciences Park and adjacent to Discovery Park will allow us to enhance collaboration among our college and the colleges of Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.”

The project will require the demolition of the Food Stores Building, Building Services and Grounds Building, and a storage shed. Construction is projected to begin in February 2016, with occupancy slated for July 2017.

Financing will come from $35 million in student fee bond proceeds approved by the General Assembly, $15 million in gift funds, and $10 million from the capital reserve for buildings. Purdue must provide $5 million in matching funds in order to activate the General Assembly’s authorization of an additional $5 million in bonding authority for the project.

Trustees approved requesting assistance from the Purdue Research Foundation to assume responsibility for the design and construction of the $8.8 million Centaur Regional Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center, which will be located in Shelbyville near Indiana Grand.

The state-of-the-art facility will provide health services to horses and serve as a working laboratory to support the College of Veterinary Medicine’s student learning and research.

“This is an exciting partnership that will provide expanded training opportunities for our future equine specialists,” said Willie Reed, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of veterinary anatomic pathology. “We will have a cutting-edge facility to facilitate groundbreaking research and administer emergency medical services in a location near Indiana Grand.”

The center will be built on land purchased by Purdue Research Foundation with $2.3 million in support from Shelby County and city of Shelbyville. Centaur Gaming, which owns and operates Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, has pledged $3.1 million to name the facility.

An $11.25 million project to make repairs at the Purdue Airport also was approved by trustees. The project will rehabilitate the long runway, known as 10/28, make repairs to its intersection with another runway, and replace obsolete runway/taxiway guidance signage with LED signage that meets current FAA standards.

The board’s approval paves the way for the project to begin immediately upon FAA approval. If approved, an FAA grant would pay for 90 percent of the project, with 5 percent being funded by the Indiana Department of Transportation and the remaining 5 percent coming from airport department funds. The current timeline calls for the work to begin in July and be completed in September in order to minimize impact to Purdue Airport operations.

Trustees approved awarding the fourth and final option term for Job Order Contracts. The term is set up to expire in 12 months or when the cap of $4 million is reached. Funds are drawn from various sources, including university repair and rehabilitation funds or client payback for services.

Job Order Contracting is an alternative procurement tool intended for design and repair, alteration, renovation, rehabilitation, construction, and maintenance of facilities on the West Lafayette campus. Under the system, the contractor is responsible for furnishing all management and materials required to perform the work.

Board members also approved the State Street project development agreement, which included a request for related assistance from the Purdue Research Foundation. The agreement represents a partnership between the university and city of West Lafayette in cooperation with the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission and Purdue Research Foundation. The agreement, which still must be approved by these other parties’ governing bodies, covers topics such as cost-sharing, funding, project management and oversight, and the procurement process. Under the agreement, the Joint Board established under the 2014 interlocal agreement between the university and the city of West Lafayette will be charged with overseeing the project delivery. 

Writer: Brian Zink, 765-494-2080, 

Sources: Michael B. Cline, vice president for physical facilities, 765-494-8000

Jay Akridge, 765-494-8391,

Kevin Doerr, College of Veterinary Medicine director of public affairs and communications, 765-494-8216, College of Veterinary Medicine, 

Related website:

State Street Redevelopment Project

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