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Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2008

IU trustees take action on seven major building projects

May 2, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees today (May 2) approved six major construction projects for the Bloomington campus and OK'd a site plan for a seventh.

The combined actions brings the total number of projects planned or under way at the campus to 13, with a combined value of $340 million.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie told trustees the campus has not seen this much construction under way at one time for at least a half century.

Several of the projects are in keeping with the goals for IU Bloomington announced by McRobbie last October in his inaugural speech, including a new International Studies building and a University Cinema as a facility for the scholarly study of film.

"I am especially pleased that nearly $100 million of this investment is going to projects that will enhance many of our educational programs in the arts and humanities," McRobbie said.

Projects winning trustee approval Friday were:

  • International Studies building: This 160,000 square-foot structure will be built at a site on Jordan Avenue directly south of the Wells Library. It will house many of the international centers, institutes and culture and language study programs that are currently at a variety of scattered locations around the campus. The building will include offices, classrooms and support areas. Total cost is estimated at $47 million, with $10.5 million expected to be provided from a legislative appropriation and the remainder coming from gifts and other university funds.
  • Jacobs School of Music studio building: This 146,600 square-foot building will replace the existing music addition (round building) to Merrill Hall, which is considered obsolete. The new structure will house 135 teaching studios as well as music practice rooms, classrooms, offices, rehearsal rooms and graduate student spaces. The estimated cost of $44 million is being funded by a gift from the Lilly Endowment.
  • University Theater Renovation: This project involves an extensive renovation of the eastern section of the IU Auditorium building to include remodeling Theater and Drama spaces and restoring the former theater area into a modern University Cinema, which will be used for the study of film. Four Thomas Hart Benton murals, originally painted in the 1930s, will also be restored. The estimated cost of $15 million will come from gifts and other university funds.
  • Ashton Housing: A total of 837 new one-, two- and four-bedroom housing units will be constructed on a site west of Union Street between Seventh and 10th streets. The project also includes 20,000 square feet of classroom and program space. The estimated cost of $80 million will be funded by revenue bonds. The project is the first step in a five-year plan for upgrading IU Bloomington student housing, which also calls for renovating Briscoe and Forest residence halls and converting their 2,080 traditional beds to suites with about 1,200 beds. The Ashton project will offset the eventual loss of beds at Briscoe and Forest.
  • Auxiliary library facility, phase II: A 22,500 square-foot addition to the Auxiliary Library Facility will be built on the south side of the existing building to increase library storage space. This $9.5 million project will be funded by long-term debt and other university funds.
  • Campus office and classroom building: This 40,000 square-foot structure will be built on the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Jordan Avenue to provide additional classroom space for various academic programs. The total cost of $8 million will be funded by capital projects and land acquisition reserves.
  • Business incubator: Trustees approved a site plan for a business incubator building to be located near the northeast corner of 10th Street and the Ind. 45/46 Bypass. The building will run parallel to 10th Street. Trustees in February voted preliminary approval for the $10 million facility, which will house start-up businesses and related organizations.

The six major projects already under way at the Bloomington campus are the $51.7 million multidisciplinary science building II, the $30 million data center at 10th Street and the Bypass, the $3 million Hutton Honors College building, the $55 million north end zone project at Memorial Stadium and basketball player development facility, and the $3 million optometry clinic.