The Union Street Center — the first new residential construction project on campus in more than 40 years — was dedicated by University and city officials Tuesday.
“It’s good to be back home,” Mayor Mark Kruzan said during the ceremony.
Kruzan, who said he lived in Teter Quad near the new residence center as an IU freshman acknowledged the benefits of having IU’s campus reside in Bloomington.
“This campus impacts our city and helps drive our community character,” Kruzan said.
President Michael McRobbie said during the ceremony that the completion of the center is the first step in his promise to improve student living at IU during the next 15 years.
“In short, imagine a student-living community that rivals the best in the world,” McRobbie said.
The President also stressed the importance of residential facilities for students that are looking for their perfect college.
The Union Street Center provides undergraduate students with one, two and four bedroom apartment units, which come fully furnished with energy-efficient appliances and other amenities.
The facility can house up to 827 IU undergraduate students in each of its seven buildings, named hickory, birch, cedar, linden, cypress, beech and pine after trees that can be found on campus.
The new residence hall has the Hoosier Café and Store, fitness facilities, classrooms, a Hutton Honors College residential community and more.
“This is the kind of community that can set fire to the imagination,” McRobbie said, adding that the Union Street Center demonstrates the unity between campus and the community while also providing the best of homes to IU students and stimulating their learning with the educational services offered at the center.
“The Union Street Center is the embodiment of meeting student needs,” Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson said, adding that it will provide current and future students the opportunity to live and study in a modern living community.
Hanson said the innovative learning spaces in the center have the potential to make an impact on the education of students for a long time to come.
“Students lean in different ways now than previous generations did,” Hanson said. “The Union Street Center will help keep students engaged.”
Patrick Connor, executive director of Residential Programs and Services, said a review of the profiles from the center’s first residents showed 25 percent are either in the honors college or other similar academically focused programs.
Connor also said RPS will continue communication with students on how to improve the center in the future.
“The facility you see today will likely be different two to three years from now. The center was designed to evolve,” Connor said.