Academic Construction Reflects Variety

Academic Construction Reflects Variety

A large variety of different types of academic construction projects have been taking place among Indiana colleges and universities in recent months. Some are establishing high-tech spaces for innovation, while others focus more on things like hospitality, project-based learning, or athletics. We’ve compiled a snapshot of several project highlights that are sure to make a big impact for generations of Hoosier students.


Union Club Hotel Renovation – $35M
Purdue University

Purdue University’s 182-room Union Club Hotel recently completed a comprehensive $35 million, yearlong renovation. The project involved a complete overhaul of all guest rooms and public spaces, including a significant transformation of the lobby to create a grand entrance with a modern loft-like feel.

The Union Club Hotel brings with it three new dining outlets for guests and the public. The hotel will also be used as a hands-on learning laboratory for students in Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, a program expected to roll out in 2021.

Owned by Purdue University, the iconic property was built in phases and first opened in 1929 as an addition to the Purdue Memorial Union. In 1939 a second wing was added to the hotel, and in 1955 the five-story 130-room north wing was added. Parts of the hotel underwent renovations in the mid-1980s and at the turn of the century.

The hotel is managed by White Lodging, one of the largest hotel development and management companies in the United States with more than 90 premium-brand hotels across the country.



New Center for Artificial Intelligence – $22.8M
Indiana University

Work is underway on the new $22.8 million Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence at Indiana University. The facility will feature state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces dedicated to supporting IU faculty and students who will conduct pioneering research into AI and machine learning. The center will initially focus on digital health.

The Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence will be a 58,000-square-foot facility that also will include a 370-space parking structure. Also included in the overall project are demolitions of two existing buildings on the site, construction of an addition to the Fine Arts Studio Building, and the conversion of Eigenmann Hall into student housing.

Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2021.



New Academic Building – $29M
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Construction is wrapping up on the new $29 million, 70,000-square-foot academic building at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The new building is located between Moench Hall and Myers Hall on the east side of campus.

When complete for the 2021-22 school year, the new academic building will have collaboration workspaces, design studios, flexible classrooms, chemistry laboratories, and faculty innovation spaces. The building has been designed to support active student engagement through flexible and easily adaptable spaces for student projects and design studios, and breakout space for students and teams to collaborate on projects.

A central atrium and lots of interior and exterior glass will showcase the work taking place within, making it a “window into Rose” that showcases curricular innovation, laboratory activities and teamwork among students, faculty and staff members. Students will also have access to a prototyping laboratory, laser-cutting devices, machine tools and a woodworking shop.



“Transformative” Library Renovation – $30M
DePauw University

A $30 million renovation is underway to transform DePauw University’s Roy O. West Library into a dynamic hub for multi-media, group collaboration, research, social interaction, advanced technology resources, and individual study.

The 12,000 square feet of new space will include a reading room that features a two-story atrium with a fireplace, expansive views, wall-to-wall books, and wood paneling. A new façade of windows on the building’s west side will overlook green space that will integrate the library into the campus and downtown Greencastle.

University libraries nationwide have seen the demand for collaborative spaces surge in response to courses that emphasize team-based projects over solitary work. At DePauw, the library design will add space for the Tenzer Technology Center; team-based learning and project work; study rooms with built-in technology; modern archival storage and services; and enhanced space for the DePauw archives.

Work is expected to be completed in August 2021.



New Athletic Training Facility – $3.9M
Bethel University

Bethel University has recently wrapped up a $3.9 million athletic training facility project located at its campus in Mishawaka. Construction began in the spring and completed near the end of 2020. The building is funded by donations from Bethel’s GROW campaign.

The facility will provide training space and equipment primarily for Bethel’s national champion track and field teams. It will be a long, narrow building with a 100-meter track straightaway, areas for pole vaulting, shot put and discus practice, and exercise space for use by all athletes.

“For years, students have trained in unconventional ways,” said Athletic Director Tony Natali. “For example, in the winter, pole vaulters practice on the basketball court in Gates Gymnasium, and sprinters practice on a makeshift straightaway in the basement of a residence hall. We’ve embraced these challenges as a way to build team spirit, and now we will move into a new era of having facilities designed for our athletes. We’re excited to see what the future holds.”

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