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David Skirvin
School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Tracy James
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011

School of HPER expansion dedicated, new auditorium named for Dean emeritus Tony A. Mobley

Oct. 6, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Decades in the works, the 24,000-square-foot expansion of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University Bloomington was celebrated and dedicated on Thursday with a nod to the school's past and anticipation for its future as a school of public health.

HPER Courtyard Dedication

The formally named Tony A. Mobley Auditorium is part of a 24,000-square-foot expansion of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation constructed within a courtyard at the center of the building.

Print-Quality Photo

IU administrators, faculty members, deans emeriti, students and others gathered for a dedication and naming ceremony in the new 174-seat Tony A. Mobley Auditorium, which recognizes Mobley, dean of the school from 1976-2002, for his role in envisioning the expansion project.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie, who presided over Thursday's ceremony, said the project represents IU's effort to operate with greater efficiency and reimagine itself for the 21st century.

The project, McRobbie said, embraces "the changing needs of students and faculty by using the space that we have more effectively and efficiently. This project looks beyond what has worked in the past, and instead looks towards what will make this school, and IU as a whole, stronger in the future.

Tony A. Mobley

Tony A. Mobley

Print-Quality Photo

"The growth and change in HPER is far more than physical," he added. "One of the most significant elements in that evolution is the transformation of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation into an accredited school of public health. HPER is home to some of this nation's finest researchers in public health with particular expertise in health behavior and environmental health sciences, among other areas. This will enable us to leverage that expertise and compete more effectively for a variety of funding opportunities that are available only to schools of public health. More important, it will allow us to more effectively serve the state of Indiana."

Conceived initially as means to accommodate the school's steady growth since moving into the building in 1961, the project gained steam after Indiana University embarked on the IU Public Health Initiative, approved by IU Trustees in June. The initiative calls for the establishment of a school of public health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and another in Bloomington, where the School of HPER is transitioning into a school of public health.

"This is truly a proud moment," said Interim Dean Mohammad R. Torabi, acknowledging the contributions and support that made the expansion possible. "Today the sky is the limit for our school to move forward with its 21st century school of public health model."

HPER Courtyard Construction

Contractors begin work on the 24,000-square-foot expansion of the School of HPER in May 2010. Since 1961 the site of the construction had been an interior courtyard.

The auditorium, considered the showcase of the expansion, provides the school with its only auditorium instructional space that can accommodate more than 80 students. The expansion, built into a little-used grassy courtyard at the center of the School of HPER building, created 34 offices and allowed the school to centralize its student advisement offices. A 4,000-square-foot shell space on the third floor is expected to provide important lab space once complete and increase the amount of new facility space to 28,000 square feet.

The School of HPER has more than 2,500 student majors, 107 faculty members and 120 professional and support staff. As the school has grown over the years, faculty members and centers have spread to satellite locations across campus. The expansion, the first since the instructional portion of the building was constructed in 1960, is seen as a way for the school to maximize its existing space. The School of HPER building and the adjacent Wildermuth Intramural Center contain shared-use facilities with Campus Recreational Sports, making it one of the most heavily used buildings on campus.

LEED-certified, the project was designed by the firm VPS Architecture of Evansville. Partially funded through private donations, the majority of the $6.3 million project is financed through a bond funded by School of HPER monies unrelated to tuition and state appropriation support.

Speakers and members of the platform party included McRobbie, Torabi, Mobley, IU Trustee Philip Eskew, Dean Emeritus David Gallahue, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Tom Gieryn, Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities Thomas Morrison, VPS Architecture President Sarah Schuler, HPER Courtyard Project steering committee member and retired IU Foundation President Curt Simic, graduate student Emily Myers and Associate Professor Sarah Young.

For more information, contact David Skirvin, assistant dean for the School of HPER, at 812-855-1561 and