New Foundations for Higher Learning

New Foundations for Higher Learning

University Projects Take Shape Across the State


New foundations for higher learning are being set into place at many of Indiana’s universities, with some wrapping up and some just beginning, as the state gears up to prepare new generations for the future. In fact, at the time of this composition, it’s actually quite difficult to pin down Hoosier institutions that aren’t undertaking new construction projects, renovations, or expansions. Virtually all of the major schools are growing, in one form or another.

With so much activity taking place, we thought we’d feature a collection of education-related projects for our readers to showcase the steps Indiana is taking toward a brighter academic future. These projects represent much more than economic development – they’re the brick-and-mortar locations that will be formulating our state’s leaders and innovators.

Take a look at some of these exciting new facilities:


$8.8 Million – Centaur Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center
Purdue University
Building Contractor: MacDougall Pierce Construction
Site Contractor: Runnebohm Construction
Architectural Firm: BDA Architecture

Purdue Equine Center Rendering

Construction is wrapping up on Purdue University’s $8.8 million Centaur Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center, located in Shelbyville near Indiana Grand. The state-of-the art facility will serve as a satellite facility of the College of Veterinary Medicine, providing specialty medical and surgical services for horse owners and supporting equine research and education of future equine specialists.

“This center will house the most technologically advanced medical equipment to diagnose and treat equine patients while also facilitating groundbreaking research and vital educational opportunities for students preparing for careers as equine specialists,” said Willie Reed, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Veterinary Anatomic Pathology.

The facility is 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.

Located just a few miles from the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s track in Shelbyville, and within an hour’s drive from Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana, the center will be part of the Purdue Equine Sports Medicine program based on the West Lafayette campus. It will offer advanced diagnostic imaging, shockwave therapy, regenerative medicine, endoscopy laser surgery and specialized equine orthopedic surgery and specialized equine surgery in a one-story, 18,000-square-foot center.

“Shelbyville and Shelby County are excited about the groundbreaking for the new Centaur Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun. “This project is a great model of public and private partnerships between the City of Shelbyville, Shelby County, Centaur Gaming and Purdue University. Now that construction is beginning, we look forward to the completion of a beautiful equine specialty referral hospital that will have a significant positive impact on our community.”


$7 Million – Byrum School of Business
Marian University
General Contractor: Shiel Sexton
Architectural Firm: Schmidt Associates

Byrum School of Business

Marian University has begun construction on a new building that will house its Byrum School of Business by December 2017.  The $7 million facility is needed to accommodate growing enrollment in the business school, and is part of a $15 million campaign to support the school’s unique, experiential approach to learning.

“We have adopted a fundamentally different approach to preparing students for the dynamic business world,” Dr. Russ Kershaw, Dean of Marian University’s Byrum School of Business, said. “We have replaced the traditional textbook/lecture/exam-based courses with a series of business experiences that require all students to engage with real business people and projects from day one. Our focus is on providing students with practice in solving actual business problems and helping them develop key skills, instead of memorizing facts, formulas, and terms for the test. This new facility is being explicitly designed to help us deliver this program.”

The new Byrum School of Business will be designed to represent the changing work styles and mobile technology of businesses today, with trendy breakout areas, expansive glass walls, and open perimeter spaces. The dramatic atrium will provide flexible work zones with tiered collaboration space configurable for presentations, creative brainstorming, or casual student gatherings. The innovative space supports the school’s unique hands-on curriculum where students learn by collaborating with businesses. Schmidt Associates has been chosen as the architect for the new space; construction will be completed by Shiel Sexton.

In addition to the new building for the Byrum School of Business, Marian University is also planning construction of a new $30 million facility for dining, recreational sports, classrooms, a fieldhouse, and more.


$13.3 Million – MTI Center
Trine University
Construction Manager: Michael Kinder and Sons, Inc.

MTI Center

Trine University has announced plans for its new MTI Center, which is scheduled to open in January 2018. The new facility will be a hub for campus entertainment, incorporating a bowling alley and esports arena into its design.

The project has been estimated at $13.3 million and also includes three basketball courts, a fitness center, pro shop, banquet room and bar, outdoor patio, offices, and a training room. It will host Trine University’s men’s and women’s basketball games and incorporate the Witmer Clubhouse for Zollner Golf Course, which will remain open during MTI Center construction.

The contract for the MTI Center has been awarded to Fort Wayne-based Michael Kinder and Sons, which is also the construction manager for the $8.2 million Thunder Ice Arena.

Trine University will launch its esports program, which involves online competitive video gaming, beginning in the fall of 2017. The team will be housed in a temporary facility until the MTI Center is completed.

The university also has several other major projects taking place at this time, including the expansion of Best Hall of Science and the construction of the Thunder Ice Arena. The Best Hall expansion is scheduled to open in January 2017 and will add 26,000 square feet to the building, including seven laboratories, 12 offices, and group study spaces. The Thunder Ice Arena will open in fall 2017 and will be the home for Trine University’s men’s and women’s hockey teams.


$32 Million – Hoover Dining Hall
DePauw University
Architectural Firm: Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Hoover Dining Hall

DePauw University recently celebrated the completion of construction on its new $32 million dining hall with a dedication ceremony. The new 48,600 square-foot Hoover Hall now resides in the heart of campus, near the historic East College.

The project took 29 months to complete (ground was broken on May 17, 2014), and it was completed on time and under budget. More than 1,000 craftsmen and women put over 145,000 hours of work into the project.

Hoover Hall will seat more than 600 students in the main dining room, with dozens more able to dine and come together in an array of smaller dining rooms. It will now serve as the primary dining space for first-year students and upper-class students living in university housing and will serve its first meal to undergraduates Monday morning.

“This magnificent building fills a purpose far beyond food or shelter. It invites a new heartbeat to the center of campus and changes the way those who live and learn here will connect, interact, and collaborate. It will feed us in ways beyond the obvious, and its influence will be felt for generations to come,” said Melanie J. Norton, Vice President of Development and Alumni Engagement.

The construction of Hoover Hall was made possible by a collection of gifts from DePauw alumni.  R. David and Suzanne A. Hoover (both 1967 graduates of DePauw) provided the lead gift to support the construction effort; the building is named in their honor.  Sarah R. and John H. Wallace (both 1976 graduates of DePauw) and James B. Stewart ’73 made a joint commitment that will support the creation of a faculty and staff dining room within Hoover Hall.  Additional gifts from donors who wish to remain anonymous have also supported the Hoover Hall project.


$4 Million – Renovations to Riverside Hall
Indiana University South Bend
Architectural Design Team: Moake Park Group, Inc. & Artekna Design
General Contractor: Brown & Brown Contractors, Inc.

(L-R) Chancellor Terry Allison, Trustee Melanie Walker, President Michael McRobbie and Trustee Phil Eskew break ground for renovations at Riverside Hall.

$4 million in renovations to IU South Bend’s Riverside Hall have officially begun. When the renovations are complete, it will be the hub of health sciences programs, classes, and health care for students, faculty, staff, and community residents.

“The renovated Riverside Hall will help address major risks to individual health and the declining measures of public health in our state,” said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie.

The project will refurbish and modernize more than 11,000 square feet – the entirety of the building. New mechanical, plumbing, electrical, data, and security systems will be installed, along with updated clinical space, laboratories, radiology equipment, a pharmacy, classrooms, and offices. When completed in the fall of 2017, Riverside Hall will be the new home of the expanded IU South Bend Health and Wellness Center and enhanced programs in health sciences.

“The renovated Riverside Hall will provide excellent teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty, along with providing low-cost, high quality care for those in need,” said IU South Bend Chancellor Terry L. Allison. “Students and faculty in Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Radiography, Clinical Lab Sciences, and other health professions will have expanded opportunities to work directly with patients,” he added.

Funding for the project includes a $1 million gift from the Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust, matching gifts, campus funds, and operational support from HealthLinc. HealthLinc is a federally qualified health care center operator with clinics in East Chicago, Valparaiso, Knox, Michigan City, Mishawaka, and at IU South Bend.


$10 Million – Science Hall Expansion & Renovation
St. Mary’s College
General Contractor: Ziolkowski Construction, Inc.
Architectural Firm: SBS (Stanley Beaman & Sears), and MPA Architects

Science Hall Expansion & Renovation

Saint Mary’s College recently completed an expansion and renovation to its Science Hall, which houses the Departments of Chemistry and Physics and Biology and supports the Dual Degree in Engineering Program, the Sophia Program, and the Department of Nursing Science.

The project is thanks to the largest private gift in Saint Mary’s history. In 2011, the college announced that Jennifer Mathile Prikkel ’95, then a member of the Board of Trustees, and her parents MaryAnn and Clayton Mathile committed $10 million dollars to transform Science Hall into a state-of-the-art facility. The result is a center of science learning that features collaborative environments and the most up-to-date technology.

Notable changes to the building include study and lab areas that encourage collaboration between students, faculty, and disciplines. Physics now has a dedicated floor, occupying a newly finished area on the lower level on the building’s north side. Meanwhile, the wall on the building’s south side was extended several feet out to the sidewalk, creating much larger laboratories and classrooms on the first floor (chemistry) and second floor (biology). The new greenhouse, another component of the project, was completed in the summer of 2014.

“The interface between the science disciplines is where the most exciting discoveries are made, and our new spaces make this inter-disciplinary science easier in both our teaching and research,” said Christopher Dunlap, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

Don Paetkau, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, said, “The changes to Science Hall make it possible for our faculty and students to work as a research community with the tools they need to address real world questions together. We are investigating emerging diseases, cancer, the nature of genomes, and the consequences of climate change. Our research includes a quest to better understand echolocation in bats, which could lead to improvements in technology we all use every day. And we are experimenting with paper analytical devices (PADs) to detect pharmaceutical and water quality. We look forward to the discoveries that will be made in our new labs.”