WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue trustees gave preliminary approval for more than $150 million worth of projects. The biggest pieces include a new learning center and a major expansion to the College of Engineering.
Modern active-learning classrooms and a consolidation of libraries for science and engineering students. That's the description for a proposed $79 million Active Learning Center.
"Space during the day is classroom and library space and over the day with things that change, going from classes to where you're preparing for classes and studying, spaces will be flexible to use for more study space," said Michael Cline, Vice President for Physical Facilities.
Thursday afternoon, the Physical Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees approved a measure to start planning for the Active Learning Center. For now, plans call for the Engineering Administration building and the attached retired power plant to be demolished to make space for the new center.
"We will have designing and planning activities going on this fall and into next year, with demolition of those buildings starting in 2014," said Cline.
Cline said the university will have to find new places for the offices in the Engineering Administration building before the demolition. Construction would start immediately after the demolition.
The committee also approved planning for $70 million worth of renovations for several engineering buildings. The renovations will allow the College of Engineering to expand by nearly 700 students and more than 200 faculty and staff. The expansion is one of ten initiatives laid out by President Mitch Daniels earlier this week.
"As we bring new faculty members in and we have changes in our student learning models, we got to make sure we have facilities to compliment those," said Trustee Gary Lehman.
The renovations are slated to be complete by the summer of 2018. Cline said Wang Hall will be utilized as swing space for faculty members while the renovations are taking place. The full board will vote on those renovations, as well as the Active Learning Center, in two weeks at its regular meeting.
The Physical Facilities Committee also approved planning for a $3.9 million Academic Support Center in Shreve Hall. The center will be a place for students to hang out and study, taking the place of an old dining center.
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