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May 18, 2007

Trustees approve Mackey renovation, Discovery Learning Center expansion

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University board of trustees on Friday (May 18) approved planning for an $82 million renovation and expansion for Mackey Arena and authorized an additional $15 million to expand the Discovery Learning Center.The board also approved construction of new residence halls at the Calumet and West Lafayette campuses, renovation of Lilly Hall's west wing and modernization of the Wade Utility Plant.

The new Mackey Arena Complex will increase the size of the concourse level, add new locker rooms, classrooms, training and rehabilitation space, and office space. Athletics director Morgan J. Burke said upgrading the 40-year-old building costs one-third as much as building a new arena, improves its handicap accessibility and precludes the need to build two other new athletic facilities.

"This project will bring the Mackey Arena into the 21st century in regards to amenities while preserving the history and tradition of the building," he said.

The board approved hiring HNTB Architecture of Kansas City, Mo., to design the complex. The project includes the relocation of the Grand Prix track, two football practice fields and the "F" parking lot. Athletic department funds and the development of a successful fundraising campaign will determine the scope of the project.

The board also expanded the budget for the Discovery Learning Center from $10 million to $25 million to create additional space for the new the new  Mann Institute that will commercialize innovative biomedical technologies developed at Purdue. Two additional floors of the building will provide office space for other new centers located in Discovery Park.

"This office complex will support collaboration and interdisciplinary cooperation among various academic departments, constituents throughout Indiana and researchers around the world," Provost Sally Mason said.

All but $4 million of the total project cost will come from gifts and the capital reserve for buildings. The remainder will come from the state.

The board approved a $41.47 million contract with F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. Inc. of Indianapolis to build a new on-campus residence hall that will house 365 residents in single rooms. Each 140-square-foot room will include a private bathroom. Clusters of resident rooms will share a common gathering space, kitchenette, study and laundry rooms. The new building, to be located on the north side of State Road 26 west of Intramural Drive, also will feature a community center consisting of a conference room, multipurpose room, recreation room and student club rooms.

John Sautter, vice president for housing and food services said the new hall will help replace resident rooms lost to renovations at Cary Quadrangle and Young Hall and razing of apartments at Purdue Village.

"This hall also will help compensate for the future loss of apartments we anticipate at Purdue Village and Hilltop Apartments per University Residences and campus master plans," Sautter said. "The single rooms increase the diversity of housing options available on campus and provide students a move-up option in addition to suites and apartments."

Construction is scheduled to begin this month and be completed prior to the fall 2009 semester. University Residences is completely self-supporting and no tax dollars will be used for the project. The building will be funded entirely by user fees.

The board also approved planning, financing and constructing the $21 million Phase II of new student housing at Purdue's Calumet campus. The board approved hiring HCO Inc. of Indianapolis to design the "L"-shaped building that will include 369 beds in 99 fully furnished units. The building will be located to preserve space for recreation fields.

"New student housing will improve student retention and graduation rates, expand out-of-classroom learning opportunities, and increase interaction with faculty, staff and other students," said James K. Johnston, Purdue Calumet's vice chancellor for administrative services.

The building is scheduled to be open for the fall 2009 semester and will be paid for with student facilities system revenue bonds.

The board also approved hiring BSA LifeStructures of Indianapolis to design a $28.5 renovation of Lilly Hall's west wing. Laboratories, offices, corridors, stairwells, restrooms and air systems all will be upgraded. The project will be financed through repair and rehabilitation bond proceeds.

The board also approved planning and constructing a new facade for Young Hall. The current curtain wall facade constructed of metal panels, windows and limestone has leaked several times over the building's 44-year history. Tom Marshall, senior project manager in the Office of the University Architect, said attempts to correct the problem have been unsuccessful.

"The new design-build process we are implementing will help ensure that this $6 million project is cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing and has minimal impact on building occupants," he said.

On Thursday (May 17) the Physical Facilities Committee approved several projects, including the use of $4.45 million to renovate the ninth and 10th floors of Young Hall, converting the space into offices and conference rooms. Elevator, fire detection and fire suppression systems all will be modernized. More than $4 million in departmental and repair and rehabilitation funds will pay for the project.

The committee also:

* Approved awarding a $5.3 million contract to J.R. Kelly Co. Inc. of Lafayette, Ind., to install mechanical and electrical equipment at Wade Utility Plant to bring the plant into EPA compliance.

* Approved the use of $3.6 million in Purdue Libraries departmental funds and gifts to renovate 18,368 square feet on the fourth floor of Stewart Center. The space will accommodate an extension of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Education library and construction of a new archives and special collections facility equipped with special climate controls and a security system. That space will include a repository for rare collections, a processing room, exhibit areas, a scholarly reading room, a classroom and staff offices.

* Approved financing and constructing Discovery Park Site Development Phase VI with $2.4 million from Discovery Park development funds. The site will include a plaza bordered by the Bindley Bioscience and Burton Morgan centers, Terry House and Intramural Drive.

* Approved awarding a $1.64 million contract to Kettlehut Construction Inc. of Lafayette, Ind., for Phase II renovations to the original portion of the Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering. The improvements to laboratories, offices and classrooms will be paid for with gifts and repair and rehabilitation money from the general fund.

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

Sources: Morgan Burke, (765) 494-3189,

Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709,

John Sautter, (765) 494-1022,

Ken Johnston,  (219) 989-2234,

Tom Marshall, (765) 496-3777,

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

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Details of the Mackey Arena Complex will be presented at a news conference at Keady Court inside Mackey Arena at 2 p.m. Friday (May 18). For more information, contact Dave Kitchell, Purdue News Service, at (765) 496-9711, . High-resolution architectural renderings of the Mackey Arena Complex project are available in the Mackey Complex folder at

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