sealPurdue News

July 6, 2001

Trustees OK arts building, computer science 'home,' nano center

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Board of Trustees today (Friday, 7/6) awarded a $21.2 million contract to construct the Visual and Performing Arts building.

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The trustees also authorized design and planning for a $20 million computer science building and approved hiring a design firm to plan a nanotechnology research facility.

The board also authorized planning for infrastructure and utility extension work, estimated to cost $5.7 million, to support the nanotechnology facility and proposed research complex planned for the west end of the West Lafayette campus.

"These projects will have a significant impact on our academic and research missions, and on the state's economic development," said President Martin C. Jischke. "They will provide the needed facilities for Purdue arts programs and allow us to consolidate and harness the potential of our Department of Computer Sciences. Research in nanotechnology has the potential to foster a major new high-technology industry for Indiana."

The trustees awarded the arts center contract to H.G. Cristman Construction of South Bend, Ind., which will do the work for $21.2 million. Because the bids exceeded state funding and private donations acquired for the project, the interior theatrical space and some art education labs will be left unfinished. Unspecified additional private funds will be raised to complete this unfinished space, said Kenneth P. Burns, executive vice president and treasurer.

The facility, to be built at Marsteller and Wood streets, will house academic programs in art and design, music, and dance to replace the five creative arts buildings near the intersection of Stadium and Northwestern avenues. The structures were built in the late 1940s. The new building also will replace space allocated to arts education in other campus locations.

The Visual and Performing Arts building is scheduled to be complete in May 2003.

Another major building project moved ahead as trustees selected Gibraltar Design of Indianapolis to plan the $20 million computer science building. Thomas Schmenk, university architect, said bidding and groundbreaking should occur next summer.

Purdue received legislative authorization to issue $13 million in bonds for the project, subject to the governor's approval. The remaining $7 million to complete the project will be raised through private donations, Burns said. The 60,000 assignable square-foot, multistory building will be constructed on the unpaved parking lot on University Street, immediately west of the Purdue Armory.

The new building will consolidate the computer science department in one location. Currently, the department is scattered in five different buildings. The new facility will provide classrooms; instructional and research laboratories; breakout rooms for student organizations and student team projects; multipurpose meeting rooms; and faculty, staff and graduate student offices.

Construction is scheduled for completion in July 2004. The existing computer science building, a renovated gymnasium, will continue to house a portion of the department's activities until the second phase of the project is complete.

Purdue's plans for creating a nanotechnology facility moved forward as the trustees authorized HDR Architecture to proceed with project planning and design.

The nanotechnology research facility will support interdisciplinary research teams and industry partnerships with six types of laboratory space, said Schmenk. Included in the facility will be clean rooms, biology and chemistry laboratories, and a nanotechnology incubator. The building also will include epitaxial growth facilities that are used to make new materials and devices, such as silicon crystals used in the semiconductor industry.

Nanotechnology focuses on building minute devices and systems atom by atom. Its applications potentially will affect business, medical treatment, communications and other fields.

The nanotechnology facility and the research complex will be located in the area now occupied by Purdue Village, formerly known as Married Student Housing, southeast of the corner of State Street and Airport Road.

The Indiana General Assembly's 2001-2002 budget allotted $5 million for the nanotechnology center's construction. Additional funds will be raised from private and corporate support, Burns said. Construction of the research facility and complex is scheduled to begin in June 2002, with a targeted completion date in fall 2004.

The trustees also authorized funding the engineering services for the $5.7 million utility infrastructure systems project, which is necessary to support the future development of the complex. Orbital Engineering Inc., of Hammond, Ind., and American Consulting Inc., of Indianapolis, will collaborate on project engineering services.

In other action, the board:

• Approved $5 million to begin phase one of the Recreational Sports Center renovation. The project will convert and reconfigure the center's basement for training and fitness programs. Accessibility for individuals with disabilities will be addressed throughout the building with the addition of a passenger elevator.

• Approved a $13 million project budget for the West Lafayette campus chiller plant. Ziel-Blossom Associates will design two aspects of the project, which will be bid separately. One part of the project, a satellite chiller plant building, will house two 2,000-ton electric chillers, pumps and electrical equipment.

A distribution system from the satellite chiller plant will supply mains along Stadium Avenue to Stadium Mall and Third Street. Project funds will include $12.5 million from state-authorized bonding authority. Supplemental funding of $1.1 million will come from funding authorized in 1999 for the project to extend the life of a boiler, replace a chiller and make other improvements to the utility plant on the West Lafayette campus.

• Authorized construction of a 1,000-square-foot rocket propulsion and power laboratory adjacent to the existing high-pressure facility at Zucrow Laboratories Complex. H Stewart Kline and Associates, of Lafayette, Ind., will design the $475,000 facility, which will be used to test rockets.

The trustees also:

• Authorized DLZ Indiana, of South Bend, Ind., to proceed with plans for the completion of the $3.4 million Purdue North Central Technology Building/Library Student Faculty Building. The money for the project comes from 2001-2003 state appropriations.

• Approved $1.7 million for two construction contracts awarded for the campus power distribution center and the physics building fire alarm and sprinkler system projects.

• Approved renaming Agricultural Hall to the David C. Pfendler Hall of Agriculture in honor of the 38-year Purdue educator. Pfendler, who died in 1998, worked in the School of Agriculture for 38 years before retiring as associate dean in 1974.

Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Kenneth P. Burns, (765) 494-9705;

Writer: Grant Flora, (765) 494-2073;

Other source: Thomas Schmenk, (765) 494-8003;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

The Purdue University Board of Trustees today (Friday 7/6) approved a $20 million computer science building. The 60,000 assignable square-foot, multistory building will consolidate the computer science department in one location. Currently, the department is scattered in five different buildings across the West Lafayette campus Construction is scheduled for completion in July 2004.
A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID: CSbuilding.jpeg

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