Summer construction to bring large changes to campus

As students leave Bloomington for the summer, IU rolls out construction equipment to update the campus while they’re away.

Construction and maintenance takes over the campus every summer, but Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison said this summer’s construction is much less disruptive in year’s past with fewer road and sidewalk closings.

Despite the fewer disruptions, there are big changes coming to campus this summer — one of the biggest being the addition of two new dorms in Memorial and Goodbody Halls.

Memorial Hall was originally constructed as the first women’s dorm in 1924. Goodbody Hall opened in 1936 with the name Forest Hall. Both buildings were repurposed from housing into academic space some years ago.

Now, they’re returning to their original function.

The exteriors will remain the same, but the interiors are receiving extensive remodeling and updates.

The size of dorm rooms in the 1920s and 1930s were much smaller than the standards students see today.

The new residence halls will reflect that, 
Morrison said.

Both residences will also be air conditioned and have updated restroom and shower facilities. Goodbody Hall will have an attached Residential Programs and Services dining hall that can seat 200 people.

The residence halls and RPS dining facility will be open for the fall 2017 semester.

The other two buildings found in Wells Quad — Sycamore and Morrison Halls — will remain academic buildings.

“What that creates in Wells Quad is a unique living learning community,” Morrison said. “There’s so much classroom activity there that it gives students in the middle of the day the opportunity to have lunch at that dining hall.”

Morrison added that in another year or so IU will be renovating Ballantine Hall, so the entire area will be seeing updates and changes soon.

Two other dorms are receiving renovations this summer as well. Read Hall is entering the end of its two-phase update. One half of the dorm was closed this year for updates. The second half will be finished by the beginning of the upcoming semester.

Forest Quadrangle will be going through similar renovations as Read. Starting this summer, one half of the building will be closed and renovations will continue throughout the school year.

Renovations for both Read and Forest Halls are general updates to the rooms, restrooms, windows and general infrastructure, Morrison said. The buildings are close to 50 years old.

Entirely new buildings will also continue their construction on campus this summer. Luddy Hall, which will be located at the corner of 11th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, will be the first major academic building to front onto Woodlawn. It is slated to be finished in December.

Luddy Hall will be the main building for the School of Informatics and Computing, whose classes are currently spread throughout 13 different academic buildings, Morrison said.

The building was made possible by multiple private donations and one $8 million donation from former IU student Fred Luddy, the founder of ServiceNow, a Silicon Valley-based company that provides automated IT help desk services.

“That building is meant to be a technology hub in its design,” Morrison said. “You can see that in the learning and lab spaces.”

Woodlawn Avenue will also see another new building with the Ray Cramer Marching Hundred Hall located at the corner of 17th Street.

The building will be a permanent practice facility for the Marching Hundred and will provide rehearsal and storage spaces for the band.

These buildings are the first major steps in the development of Woodlawn Avenue that administrators have been working toward, Morrison said.

Other construction projects around campus include updates to all 200 hotel rooms in the Biddle Hotel located in the Indiana Memorial Union and the renovations to Swain Hall.

Swain Hall was built continually from 1910-1960, so some parts of the building are much older than others. The updates will bring the entire building up to date and create a new façade for the part facing Third Street.

Smaller-scale restoration projects will also take place as they do every summer. These include new roofs, repaving sidewalks and general landscaping services.

“These projects are best done when students aren’t here and the weather’s nice,” Morrison said. “The people who do landscaping don’t get enough credit. When students come back in the fall, it’ll be just perfect for them.”

Not only students, but Morrison said all of the changes are made with the idea of keeping IU the same. Alumni who return to campus should feel like they still know their University.

“We want it to feel like it’s always the same,” Morrison said. “That’s the part of the goal of IU. Through our planning, it’s to make it feel the same. This campus is always in the top most beautiful campuses lists and that’s for a reason.”

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