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Trustees discuss building projects



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The Board of Trustees held a meeting at Alumni Hall Wednesday afternoon. Melanie Metzman Buy Photos

At IU-Bloomington 79 percent of the buildings are 40 years old or older, said Thomas Morrison, vice president for capital planning and facilities, at the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.

In efforts to keep these buildings up to date, large amounts of demolition, renovation and construction have been in progress on campus recently.

Other IU campuses, as they grow and develop, have also undergone construction efforts.

“It just passed the $2 billion mark for a total of 181 projects that are either in planning, construction or have been completed,” Morrison said.

Morrison mentioned it is often said nobody, besides the Indiana Department of Transportation, in Indiana does more construction than IU.

The trustees also approved three new projects for IU-Bloomington.

The first project is a request to designate a space for the Regional Academic Health Center/Academic Health Sciences building, which would be a hands-on educational experience for students and a health care resource for the Bloomington community.

“The opportunity to train future providers and leaders in health care on this site and conduct research on this site are critically important, both to us and the University, and these facilities could enable that to happen,” Morrison said.

Construction of the building will cost approximately $45 million and the project is intended to be completed by 2020, Morrison said. The land requested is about 65 acres and includes one of the school’s cross-country courses.

Morrison said the portion of the land not used for the course will be used for the building. He said the other half will be used for future developments. By the time the school builds on the second half of the land, the course will have already been relocated elsewhere.

A building project for a new parking garage and office building was also approved. The project will cost about $35 million, and it will be completed by December 2018.

This project began in response to the increased need for housing, as was previously discussed in the meeting, and moving administration offices in Eigenmann Hall to make more space for rooms.

“We had space, and we converted that to academic office space thinking it would be temporary and we would take it back at some point,” Morrison said. “We never did.”

The Graduate Printmaking and Arts Annex will need to be demolished. Both of these facilities will be relocated, possibly to either the Fine Arts Studio, formerly the IU Press Warehouse, or Weatherly Hall. East 11th Street, similarly, will have to change to allow two-lane traffic.

Project plans to build a third auxiliary library facility were also approved. This building will be a safe space for artifacts from a variety of collections.

The final vote made Thursday focused on IU’s involvement at IU-Purdue University Fort Wayne. The motion was to set in action an agreement to separate certain IU programs from those affiliated with Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

This action would split IPFW and designate the IU portion as a school for nursing, medical imaging and dental education. The Purdue portion would absorb all other programs.

Trustee Patrick Shoulders gave a short opposition. He said the faculty does not want to split, and he further explained he does not think it would benefit the students or staff at IPFW. Shoulders said he thinks the school should be managed by IU instead of Purdue.

The board said Purdue wants to retain management of IPFW and IU’s Board of Trustees has no authority to change this. The motion was approved with a vote of 7-2.

In other business, McRobbie read a statement regarding the recent election and the University’s stance on harassment and its belief in diversity. The statement was sent to IU students, faculty and staff Nov. 14.

“Indiana University will do all it can to ensure the safety of all in its community,” McRobbie said. “All members of the IU community are highly valued and warmly welcomed here.”

McRobbie also talked about IU’s support in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He said IU is committed to preserving and protecting immigration rights as well as students from different backgrounds.

“I am, myself, an immigrant, as are my three children,” McRobbie said. “In this country, we are all immigrants.”

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