IPFW building upgrades planned

August 30th, 2016

$17 million in renovations in Purdue request

By ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

No new buildings loom in the near future of the IPFW campus, but $17 million in renovations may be on the horizon.

Purdue University’s board of trustees Friday included that much money among its 2017-19 funding requests to the state legislature.

The money, if approved in the full amount, will continue work already begun on Kettler Hall, Neff Hall and the Liberal Arts building on campus, said Jay Harris, the campus physical plant director.

Harris said many buildings on campus were built about 40 years ago, and while the structures themselves are sound, systems such as heating, cooling and plumbing and interior finishes need updating.

Kettler, the first campus building, was built in the 1960s.

“In the past, the focus has been almost entirely on new buildings. In more recent funding years, there’s been a new focus on repairing and maintaining what we already have,” he said. “All the things we’re doing now are priority projects and things to make it (the campus) better for students.”  

Among the projects are expanding the number of renovated classrooms with carpeting, LED lighting, new finishes, better Wi-Fi and better furniture.

“Also, we hope to upgrade finishes in (restrooms) and corridors, which are very 1960s looking,” Harris said.

Some money will go for roof replacements, water main upgrades, backup generators and heating, air-conditioning and air-handling upgrades, he said.

The last big building investments came in 2011 with projects for the library, the student services area, Parking Garage 3, the fieldhouse and student housing, Harris said. 

Upcoming proposed projects are an addition to the engineering building and the Gates Center for a health and wellness clinic, he said.   

Harris said the most recent request for funding by Purdue shows a commitment to continuing the campus.

“The fact that this is being included shows they value keeping your facilities up,” Harris said. 

“It tells me we’re not quite ready to expand, this campus, but we’re going to maintain it in good shape.”