News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Editorials

September 23, 2012

EDITORIAL: Removing towers would be major step forward for ISU

Campus could better use its building space

TERRE HAUTE — Sculptor Brandon Zebold was quite right Wednesday when he praised the grounds at Indiana State University as being “beautiful” and welcomed the campus as a home for his “ISU Sphere” installation.

A lot of people have been saying that about ISU for several months, even years — and they are right.

Increasingly, the Terre Haute campus is becoming more attractive, featuring more compelling architectural designs, more adaptive uses of buildings, more green space and pleasing landscape, more user-friendly appeal, more first-rate touches.

President Dan Bradley certainly has fast-tracked much of the action, often with his personal stamp of approval on designs and features. During his tenure, the campus has taken on a visual and functional appeal that is ongoing, cumulative and powerful. And in several cases, he has carried out the final steps of projects begun or envisioned by predecessors, such as Lloyd W. Benjamin III.

Two buildings that have opened this fall both add greatly to ISU’s appeal:

n Federal Hall, the renovated former post office and federal court building at Seventh and Cherry streets as home to the College of Business

n The John W. Moore Welcome Center, which overlooks Dede Plaza (fountain) and the Hulman Memorial Student Union, and which serves the Admissions Department and other functions in honor its namesake, ISU’s president before Benjamin.

Both buildings are not only great architectural repurposing projects but also truly state-of-the-art education and campus community centers.

Those buildings join other recent advancements such as the wondrous transformation, a few years ago, of the College of Education building, renovated around the remains of the old Lab School that was home to generations of Terre Haute students, elementary through high school; and the  jewel that remains the Student Recreation Center, a building that was an instant hit with students and continues to host heavy student and staff use as a vital and fun part of the campus’ personal health and recreation offerings.

Several residence hall projects have changed the old “dorm” image. Sandison and Pickerl halls are only recently reopened after year-long modernizations. Erickson Hall is in the works and should reopen in the fall, as the university seeks more bed space and student-lifestyle accommodations for its rising enrollment, the most involved, loyal and persistent of which often live on campus. Even-newer housing projects are soon to take place on Spruce Street, south of venerable Lincoln Quad, and downtown in an urban living, public-private arrangement.

All of the aforementioned building improvements are notable on another level: They are either renovated, repurposed, rejuvenated buildings (Federal Hall, Education Hall, Sandison, Pickerl, Erickson, Moore Welcome Center) or are new construction. None of those came from tearing down buildings, which had been a rap on ISU in recent years.

That makes the coming departure of Statesman Towers — built as residence halls and later homes, albeit inadequate ones, to the schools of business and education — a bit ironic. But those buildings’ square footage has been replaced with Education and Federal halls, and they must and should come down. No historic preservation is at risk with their being removed, except that the adjacent Eugene V. Debs Home and Museum must be protected. (If Bradley wasn’t referring to those twin buildings as being among the “ugly” ones he saw when he came to ISU, he should have. They are bunkers, drab, dank, dark.)

Those towers’ departure can make way for other projects — including several needed athletic facility upgrades — that are in the works and/or planning stages on the ISU campus.

This is at it should be. A former ISU president, Richard G. Landini, liked to say that a university is always in the stage of becoming. In this case, that becoming involves the campus’ becoming more attractive, approachable and usable.

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Editorials
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  • EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence

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    June 28, 2014

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    The Monday morning “groundbreaking” at the site of the new Vigo Schools Aquatic Center in Voorhees Park was largely ceremonial. It will still be a few weeks before work on the $9.8 million facility actually begins. But that didn’t stop the highly anticipated event from taking place, and it was clear from remarks made by a host of VIPs who took turns at the podium that this project is destined to produce great things.

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  • EDITORIAL: A proud moment for Vigo County

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    June 21, 2014

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    Life in the digital world has changed drastically for many community institutions. But the Vigo County Public Library, which has navigated various minefields of change in recent years, has shown it can adapt, even improve.

    June 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: More needed from Speaker

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    June 18, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A woman in the House

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    Of all of the educational initiatives paraded before Indiana residents in recent years — some ideas worthy, others flops — none seems more timely or more on point than one approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Celebrating local success

    It’s always an uplifting occasion when good things happen to good people. And so we join in the celebration of three people who this week achieved a new level of success and recognition for their professional and personal contributions to life in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.

    June 12, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Shoring up the VA

    How America cares for its veterans is indicative of its values as a nation. We’re confident the vast majority of citizens agree that health care for military vets through the country’s network of VA hospitals should meet or exceed common-sense expectations.

    June 11, 2014

  • Editorial: Playing the Nazi card

    There was good news to report from the Indiana Republican Party Convention conducted last weekend in Fort Wayne. The GOP nominated three women to top its general election ballot in November. There isn’t much gender equity in Hoosier politics, so seeing these three rise to the top of the Republican ballot this year is refreshing. But perhaps the best news is that Richard Mourdock, two-term state treasurer and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012, will no longer hold public office at the end of this year.

    June 10, 2014

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    June 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle’s words told a personal story

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  • EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle walked the beaches of Normandy

    NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 16, 1944 — I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
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    June 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Remembering D-Day — in the words of Ernie Pyle

    NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 12, 1944 — Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore. By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.

    June 3, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Rape, sexual assault demand greater attention

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  • Editorial: GOP takes up marriage battle — again

    All eyes will focus on Indiana’s dominant political party next week as it meets to nominate candidates to statewide office for the fall election. But nominating candidates won’t be the item on the Indiana GOP convention’s agenda that garners the most attention. Rather, the public will be watching how delegates handle a proposal to reintroduce the concept of supporting the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which was deleted from the party’s platform during a previous convention.

    May 29, 2014

  • tstribunestar Editorial: Sycamores march on into NCAA baseball tourney

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    May 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Liz Ciancone: Jail? He’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it

    Sometimes when I’m feeling as if I’m running on empty, someone will toss me an offbeat idea I would never have been able to dream up on my own. And so it was when a friend brought me a clipping from her hometown newspaper over in Illinois.

    May 26, 2014

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