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February 16, 2007

Purdue trustees approve new science building, dining court

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's board of trustees on Friday (Feb. 16) approved construction of a $30 million structural biology building and awarded a construction contract for a $19.8 million dining court.

The board also approved more than $3 million in construction contracts to upgrade fire safety equipment and make renovations to a residence hall.

The Wayne T. and Mary T. Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology will include space and facilities for protein production, cell and virus culturing, crystallization, and X-ray diffraction. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electron microscopy labs, open labs and office space also will be included in the 65,000-square-foot building.

"Hockmeyer Hall will be used by Purdue's world-class structural biology group to further groundbreaking research into the structure of molecules and viruses and the mechanisms that underlie biology," said Richard Kuhn, head of the Department of Biological Sciences. "The group employs the most advanced imaging, computational and modeling tools to further the fundamental science that leads to new antibiotics, vaccines and therapeutic drugs. This new home will offer the space needed to keep Purdue at the forefront of the field."

URS Corp. of Indianapolis is designing the building, and construction bids will be let in May. Construction is expected to begin this summer on South Intramural Drive, south of the Biomedical Engineering Building, on the site of the printing services building, which will be relocated. Completion of Hockmeyer Hall is expected in summer of 2009.

The board also approved awarding a $16.6 million construction contract for Wiley Dining Court to Kettlehut Construction Inc. of Lafayette, Ind. Similar to Ford Dining Court, the new 500-seat, freestanding dining hall will feature a variety of venues, including stations serving pasta, pizza, deli foods, soups, salads, desserts and beverages. Wiley Dining Court will include a signature churrasco grill producing South American cuisine, a Euro kitchen and movable partitions that can form three private dining rooms.

"Our ongoing investment to provide students a wide variety of delicious, nutritious and convenient dining choices has gained national attention and awards," said John A. Sautter, vice president for housing and food services. "We expect Wiley Dining Court to continue that tradition and add to the overall quality of student life at Purdue."

The new dining court, to be located just south of Wiley Hall, is scheduled to be complete in June 2008. The $19.8 million project is being funded solely by savings and cost efficiency measures.

Board members approved a $2.1 million construction contract with D.A. Dodd Inc. of Rolling Prairie, Ind., to install fire alarms, sprinklers and air conditioning in the north wing of McCutcheon Hall this summer. The board also approved a $2 million contract with J.R. Kelly Construction Inc. of Lafayette, Ind., to renovate rooms this summer in the residence hall's south wing. The renovation will prepare rooms for air conditioning, which will be installed along with fire protection systems, in the summer of 2008. Both projects are being funded by the University Residences repair and rehabilitation reserve fund.

"We provide on-campus housing to almost 12,000 students, the largest program in the nation where participation is entirely voluntary," said Barbara Frazee, executive director of University Residences. "Our ongoing renovation efforts help ensure that the housing we provide remains safe, comfortable and attractive to future generations of students."

The board also approved planning a $12 million project to replace air handler units, fume hoods and related systems throughout Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry. The project would affect 475 rooms, in part by improving circulation and humidity control and possibly recovering heat lost through fume hoods. The board approved hiring Applied Engineering Services of Indianapolis to conduct the feasibility study.

On Thursday (Feb. 15) the board's Physical Facilities Committee approved a request to plan, finance and construct an addition to the Music Building at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne to house the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. The committee approved contracting Schenkel Schultz Architecture of Fort Wayne to provide architectural services for the $4.5 million project, which will be paid for from private gifts. The 15,650-square-foot addition will include office, storage and meeting space as well as an art gallery.

"The partnership between IPFW and the philharmonic will benefit everyone," said Chancellor Michael A. Wartell. "This is another example of IPFW and the community joining forces to improve northeast Indiana."

Writer:      Jim Schenke, (765) 494-6262,

Sources: Wayne Kjonaas, vice president for physical facilities, (765) 494-8000,

Richard Kuhn, (765) 494-4407,

John Sautter, (765) 494-1022,

Barbara Frazee, (765) 494-1000,

Michael Wartell, (260) 481-6103,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


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