Summer in Bloomington means fewer students, a generally quieter campus and numerous construction projects. The Indiana Daily Student spoke with IU Capital Planning and Facilities’ Jim Stewart to learn about what’s happening on campus and what changes students can expect to see when they return in the fall.
While it may seem like there’s more construction happening in the summer, Stewart said his office is active with designing and planning projects throughout the year. He said Capital Planning and Facilities tries to focus on major projects that can be worked on in phases during the academic year. It then focuses on projects involving roadwork or major changes to classroom and office spaces in the summer.
“I appreciate everybody’s patience,” Stewart said. “It’s a fantastic campus, and we’re just constantly trying to make sure that we’re maintaining what we have and improving in the future.”
Old Crescent Renovations
The Old Crescent Project, a multi-year project, involves three phases of renovations within the Old Crescent area of campus. Improvements to Kirkwood Hall — where classes in the School of Art, Architecture + Design are now taking place — were finished within the past year.
Ernie Pyle Hall, which was home to the former School of Journalism, has been under construction for the past year. Journalism classes, now taught within the Media School, have moved to Franklin Hall near Sample Gates. Ernie Pyle Hall has now partially reopened as a welcome center for prospective students and houses the Walter Center for Career Achievement on the second floor. Construction within the building is still ongoing but is expected to be complete before the start of the fall semester.
Also in this phase are renovations to Swain Hall, which is scheduled to be finished for the fall semester. These renovations include building maintenance, classroom upgrades and a refurbished facade on the 1972 addition of the building to better match the campus’ architecture.
The third phase of this project will include renovations to Ballantine Hall and the Geological Sciences Building. Stewart said Ballantine renovations would likely occur in phases, beginning this fall with about half of the building’s classrooms. Major construction to Geological Sciences likely won't begin until next spring, Stewart said.
Indiana Memorial Union Dining
IU Dining is working with the Union Board and Indiana Memorial Union to bring new restaurants to the IMU. IU Dining's Executive Director Rahul Shrivastav said after a contract with food services provider Sodexo lapsed, the team began looking for new options to replace three brands in the Union — Baja Fresh, Pizza Hut and Burger King.
The brands will be replaced with IU Dining's own Crimson Grill, B-town Pizza & Pasta and Hoosier Homestyle, which will offer freshly prepared food and other healthy alternatives. Shrivastav said this is just one phase of a larger effort to bring new retail brands to the Union. The three new restaurants will be open in time for students' return in the fall.
Woodlawn Avenue between 7th and 8th streets will be closed through August for underground utility work. At the intersection of 7th and Woodlawn, crews are working to refurbish a storm drain and build a limestone gate at Woodlawn’s terminus just before the IMU loading dock.
The east side of campus on Union Street between 10th Street and the Student Central building will also be closed for underground utility work. Drivers can still access the Union Street Apartments parking lot via North Jefferson Street. Union Street is expected to reopen in early August.
Forest Quad is nearing the end of a yearlong renovation period. Refurbishments began in phases last summer with crews working first on its east tower, B Tower. Students lived in Forest’s A Tower last fall and moved to B Tower over winter break as construction in that tower finished. The improvements included fresh paint and new carpet and finishes in rooms. Other additions include new private restrooms on each floor with semi-private sink rooms and kitchens for each floor.
Work on A Tower is expected to finish this summer, and both towers will be open to students this fall. As Forest reopens in full, Stewart said, about half of the rooms in Teter Quad will close for similar renovations, including upgrades to mechanical systems and accessibility.
Stewart said Capital Planning and Facilities has created a cycle of renovating residence halls each year to manage the distribution of students in rooms across campus and to avoid any cascading failures of residence halls leading to multiple dorms being closed at a time. He said problems, such as reports of mold found in Teter a couple years ago, have been addressed as the University becomes aware of them.
Eskenazi Museum of Art
The Eskenazi Museum of Art closed in May 2017 for a major $30 million renovation, funded in part by Indianapolis philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi and matched by the IU Bicentennial Campaign. Construction within the museum will bring expanded gallery space, a new lecture hall and a third-floor skybridge, among other improvements, to the landmark building on campus designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei.
Stewart said major renovations in the building will be completed in December 2018, but the museum itself will take another six to nine months to settle back into gallery space, create new displays and move art back into the building. The museum will tentatively reopen in Fall 2019, with a more specific date to come.
Memorial Stadium South End Zone
Construction in the south end zone of Memorial Stadium began in spring 2017. This $53 million renovation will include updated student athlete and guest services facilities, a 42-by-91-foot scoreboard towering above the field, updated locker rooms and space for sport medicine.
The project will also create a new home for the IU Excellence Academy, which is “dedicated to the personal development of our student athletes,” said Athletic Director Fred Glass to reporters in a tour of the site last fall. Stewart said most of the new additions will be open for the fall 2018 football season, while minor renovations and work on an entry plaza will continue.
Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility
A $13 million addition to the Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility located just off the bypass near the Cyberinfrastructure Building will include temperature-controlled modules for storage of artifacts kept by IU Libraries. The 32,000-square-foot facility should be finished in August, Stewart said, but it may take several months to move in projects.
This new $17 million facility will move the volleyball and wrestling teams from their current space at University Gym near the bypass to the athletic district, just east of Cook Hall. IU broke ground on the gym, which will seat about 3,000, last fall.
Stewart said Wilkinson Hall will be near completion in September, midway through the volleyball season. Stewart said he didn’t believe the transition from University Gym to Wilkinson Hall would take long, and IU is hoping to be host to at least a game or two at the new gym before the end of the volleyball season. He said there’s no set plan for how University Gym will be used after teams move to Wilkinson Hall.
Academic Health Sciences Building
In January, the University and its partners broke ground on the IU Health Regional Academic Health Center, a major development for IU and the Bloomington community. The project will include a 700,000-square-foot hospital, which will serve as a new home for IU Health Bloomington Hospital, and a 115,000-square-foot IU Academic Health Sciences Building. A partnership between the University, IU Health and IU Health Bloomington, the project is being developed on land formerly used by the IU Golf Course.
IU will take the lead on the Academic Health Sciences Building, which Stewart said is in its design stage. The $45 million academic building will include classrooms, lab space, faculty offices and more. In a January press release, Gov. Eric Holcomb said the project “poses a tremendous opportunity to improve the health of Hoosiers throughout southern Indiana.”
To accommodate the building, IU is reconfiguring the golf course from its former 9-hole and 18-hole courses to one 18-hole course with a driving range and new clubhouse. Stewart said tree lines have already been adjusted and crews are working to move earth on the site. He said the golf course project likely will not finish until May 2019 and will be followed by a four-to-five month “grow-in” period before opening to the public.
The larger hospital project is scheduled for completion in 2020, and updates on the build can be found at iuhealth.org/bloom-build.
IU Metz Carillon
The IU Metz Carillon, formerly found in the bell tower on 17th Street near Jordan Avenue, will move to the IU Arboretum next year. The 61 bells with a five-octave range were shipped to the Netherlands for refurbishment. Four bells will be added to this collection, bringing the instrument to a “grand carillon” status and further placing IU on a global stage. Only 30 grand carillons exist in the world.
Stewart said the old bell tower has been demolished and a “bad bid day” has pushed back the project four to six months behind schedule, but it is expected to be complete in July 2019. IU hopes bringing the carillon to the center of campus will attract a larger audience to the historic instrument.
“I am delighted that this superb instrument will once again become a central part of musical life on the IU campus,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a press release. “It will open up a whole new area of music where our students, faculty, staff and visitors will have a wonderful new opportunity to experience the renown of our talented Jacobs School of Music faculty and students."