Growth and New Programs Spur Campus Construction

Growth and New Programs Spur Campus Construction

If you’ve been wondering what’s been going on with campus construction projects across Indiana lately, then hold onto your seats, because we’ve got a lot to fill you in about. Nearly every single one of the state’s major colleges and universities have projects rolling in one form or another – whether it be smaller renovations and expansions or multi-million-dollar new facilities.

We’ve complied details for you on some of the developments that belong on your radar. So, put on your thinking caps, because there’s a lot to learn! Take a look:


$22.7 Million – Two Projects at USF, Chapel and Science Additions
General Contractor – Tonn and Blank Construction
Chapel Architect – Design Collaborative
Science Building Architect – BHDP Architecture

A new standalone 250 seat chapel will sit in the heart of the USF campus. Photo from USF.

The University of Saint Francis is currently establishing two signature projects on its Spring Street campus that will more vividly demonstrate the Catholic integration of faith and reason.

The first of the projects is a new 7,000-square-foot freestanding St. Francis Chapel in the center of campus. It will provide easy access for all members of the campus community to the celebration of the Eucharist and offer a place for prayer and reflection for all visitors. The chapel’s steeple will be the tallest point on campus.

The chapel site was chosen to be visible and accessible to students as they walk to and from class. The new St. Francis Chapel will seat 250 people and will have 360-degree views of the campus. Green space will surround the building, and close access to parking will be helpful to visitors for Mass. The university will continue to host televised Sunday morning Mass provided by the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocese in the new space, and the project includes updated technology for that purpose.

The cupola at the highest point of the chapel is a distinctive feature of the new building as are the plans for the interior. The chapel, designed by a liturgical architect at Design Collaborative, will have a choir loft, adoration space, and other features. The St. Francis Chapel is targeted for completion in the fall of 2018.

Rendering of the west exterior of Achatz Hall of Science, along the shore of Mirror Lake. Photo from USF.

The second project, an expansion and modernization of Achatz Hall of Science, will further strengthen the university’s already high-quality and in-demand science and healthcare programs. The science expansion is 26,000 square feet and sits adjacent to the new St. Francis Chapel.

The Achatz Hall of Science was built in 1969 and has been modified multiple times to keep up with the changing demands of science education. The planned expansion and renovation will significantly modernize the building plus add a number of new science laboratories and student spaces to accommodate the university’s growing science and healthcare programs.

Phase one of the science construction is the addition toward the chapel that is lined with windows. Illuminating the campus at night and visible from Spring Street, this addition is expected to be complete at the end of 2018. With students learning in the new addition, a back renovation of the current Achatz Hall of Science building will occur to allow classes to continue throughout the school year, and that phase is targeted for completion at the end of 2019. The finished Achatz Hall of Science and Research Center will have 12 laboratories customized to the specialized needs of today’s science-related technology and pedagogy. These laboratories include biotech, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, computer, organic, and chemistry.

The building has other student-friendly features like a second-floor outdoor balcony and student study spaces in the first and second floor atrium with full view of the Chapel, Mirror Lake, and other buildings on campus. As students enter the glass atrium, they are greeted by a grand staircase and can utilize conference rooms, study areas, and lounges, all with the same wide views of the campus and architectural details that honor the university’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

The general contractor for both projects is Tonn and Blank Construction. The Achatz Hall of Science and Research Center has unique needs that required a specialized architectural firm with experience in science buildings. BHDP of Cincinnati was chosen for the project.

“The construction activity of the next two years will be a visible sign to our students and to the community that the University of Saint Francis is ready to serve our students and prepare them for their future vocations,” said USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF.


$39.8 Million – Major Project at IU Bloomington Wraps Up
General Contractor: Weddle Bros. Construction
Architectural Team: RATIO, Indianapolis; Pelli Clarke Pelli, Connecticut

Rendering of the new Luddy Hall. Photo from IU.

Work has recently wrapped up on a four-and-a-half story, environmentally sustainable structure at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. The new Luddy Hall will house the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering – one of the fastest-growing schools at the university.

The $39.8 million, 124,000-square-foot building has been established to accommodate the rapid growth of students, faculty, and programs at the school.

Located along Woodlawn Ave. between Cottage Grove Ave. and 11th St., the new L-shaped building is the first constructed in IU’s Woodlawn Corridor, which will link the athletic facilities on the north edge of campus with the core campus.

Highlights of the new building include a 3,500-square-foot innovation center, a flexible incubator environment with space for existing and aspiring entrepreneurial projects at the school, and a 1,500-square-foot fabrication lab, or “fab lab,” which will house maker technologies, such as 3-D printers, in a vibrant, hands-on space.

Other key building features are:

  • A 160-seat collaborative auditorium on the ground floor with views of the eastern courtyard
  • A 1,360-square-foot student community center
  • A third-floor multipurpose conference and board room
  • Seven classrooms ranging from 25 to 160 seats
  • Three labs ranging from 25 to 35 seats
  • Five labs dedicated to intelligent systems engineering
  • And much more

Over the past decade, give or take, undergraduate enrollment and research funding has flourished at the SICE, with informatics now one of the largest undergraduate majors on campus. Graduate enrollment has doubled in the last decade, with computer science being one of the largest Master of Science degree programs and Ph.D. programs on campus. The school is also home to the ninth-ranked information and library science program in the country.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie said, “Designed to encourage collaboration and community, this facility will provide much-needed teaching and research space in light of the enormous growth our School of Informatics and Computing, the broadest and one of the largest schools of its kind in the United States, has undergone in recent years.”


$6.5 Million – Higher Enrollment Leads to Trine’s Residence Hall Expansion
General Contractor – JICI Construction

Trine’s Reiners Residence Hall. Photo from Trine University.

Trine University in Angola, IN is bursting at the seams. Recently, the Trine University Board of Trustees has put in place an overall strategy to support the growing student population on Trine University’s main campus, which is experiencing its fourth straight year of record enrollment. University officials attribute the growth to new athletic and academic programs as well as Trine’s more than 99 percent job placement rate for its graduates, small class sizes, and expert faculty.

To accommodate the influx of students, the trustees have approved a more-than-170-bed residence hall to be located next to the Larry and Judy Reiners Residence Hall. Along with the new building, the trustees approved an expansion of the food service kitchen area as well as the construction of a new bookstore. The residence hall will cost $6.5 million and is expected to open in August 2018.

“Our number one priority is to continuously improve the student experience at Trine University, and this addition will help us more comfortably house our growing residential student body,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. “We also have brought more faculty on board, restructured and expanded parking on campus, expanded our health center, and are looking to expand our dining options, among other initiatives.”

Reiners Residence Hall opened in 2015. The $7.1 million, 170-bed facility overlooking the Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium features rooms for two to three with a private bath and air conditioning. Students are also able to share an open space and kitchen located on the main level of the building.


$62.5 Million – Consolidating Ball State’s Health Professions Under One Roof
General Contractor: F.A. Wilhelm Construction
Architect: RATIO

Rendering of the Ball State Health Professions Building. Photo from RATIO.

Construction recently kicked off on Ball State University’s new Health Professions Building, the first phase of what will become a health and life sciences academic quad for the new College of Health Professionals. Located in the East Quad at the southeast corner of Riverside Ave. and Martin St., the $62.5 million, 165,000-square-foot building will consolidate health-related programs in a new state-of-the-art facility that will have classrooms, laboratories, offices, a resource hub, simulation labs/suites, and clinical spaces.

The College of Health is a fairly new academic college at Ball State, in that it was launched a few years ago. The program was created to enable students to learn from one another, integrating expertise and discovery across health-related disciplines. In today’s modern healthcare facilities, collaborative teams are shaping the future of patient treatment, resulting in greater unity and comprehensive patient outcomes.

According to RATIO Architects, the designer of the building, when work is completed in 2019, the facility will house the campus health library, a variety of simulation rooms, and patient care suites. It will also feature active learning classrooms and an IPE outpatient clinic that will bring multiple groups together under one practice, such as nursing, athletic training, speech therapy, psychology, health sciences, social work, and more. Both hands-on learning and comprehensive patient care will be supported by the facility.

The grounds of the building will be designed to encourage overall health and wellness with amenities such as a wellness garden, open collaborative space, and a dietary demonstration kitchen.

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