The largest state-funded project in Indiana State University's history — the addition/renovation of the College of Health and Human Services facility — is nearing completion, with a few minor items and some site work remaining.
Phase I, completed last year, included a four-story office and classroom addition with 85,000-square-feet of space.
Just in time for the return of students, Phase II has been completed, which involved renovation of the north half of what was formerly described as the "arena" building.
Phase II includes four nursing labs; two 150-seat, tiered lecture halls; four standard classrooms; student advising offices; several student lounges and study areas and a wellness garden, said Bryan Duncan, ISU director of capital planning and improvements.
Another component is a two-story open walkway that runs east-west across the facility, connecting the addition and renovated area. The walkway features a lot of glass that brings natural light into the building, Duncan said. The walkway has lounges and other spaces that promote student interaction.
The Legislature approved $64 million for the addition/renovation project.
"The fact that the state of Indiana appropriated $64 million to build an addition and renovate the facilities for Health and Human Services is a powerful statement about the importance of health and social services in the state of Indiana," said Caroline Mallory, the college's dean.
"I was impressed from the start by the commitment the state is making to education," the dean said.
On average, the college has about 3,300 students; about 750 of those are graduate students.
The addition/renovation project brings ISU's different health care disciplines under one roof, allowing students in those majors to participate in collaborative learning.
Programs housed there include physical education, exercise science, public health, health education, the School of Nursing and social work. The college also has programs in applied medicine and rehabilitation, located in a nearby facility.
Another component of the overall project was renovation of the north gym, completed last year, which added space and created an indoor track large enough to host NCAA meets. It is primarily used for physical education classes.
"We are thrilled with not only the new construction but also the renovation of the existing CHHS facility. We are very grateful to the state of Indiana for the financial support to undertake a transformative project for the College of Health and Human Services and the university," said Diann McKee, ISU senior vice president of finance and administration.
Phase II renovation "is essentially complete with the exception of some minor punch-list items," McKee said. Site work along Third Street at the edge of the CHHS lawn includes replacing fencing and sidewalks. Additional tree plantings will take place along the edge.
The east, northbound lane of U.S. 41 will have a temporary closure to allow the contractor to complete the sidewalk work, McKee said. Approvals have been secured from INDOT.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at email@example.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.