Purdue set to receive $133M in state budget for 2 capital projects, saving vet school

"I think it's probably fair to say that this is the most successful session of the General Assembly for Purdue in memory."

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 1:29 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2019 5:43 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — In the middle of its Day of Giving, Purdue University is set to receive a major gift from the state budget.

When approved, the budget includes $133 million for two capital projects, Purdue President Mitch Daniels told News 18. One would save the accreditation of Purdue's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, while the other would help build a new STEM lab. 

"I think it's probably fair to say that this is the most successful session of the General Assembly for Purdue in memory," said Daniels. "Principally because we not only secured support for one, but two major capital projects and I just don't know when that's happened for any state university."

As we previously reported, Daniels lobbied at the Indiana Statehouse in March for a new Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The current facility, which was built in 1959, is no longer up to regulations and the school was at risk of losing its accreditation.

The project for the new hospital comes with a price tag of $108 million. Daniels said $35 million has already been raised. The university will get $73 million from the state when the budget is approved. 

Proposed New Vet Hospital

"The General Assembly came to understand how important that facility is to human health as well as animal health and our ag economy," said Daniels. "We are very grateful and I think we can feel satisfied that we were well treated."

Purdue will also receive the $60 million asked for a new 145,000 square foot STEM teaching lab facility. So far, the university has $64 million raised. Daniels said Purdue has squeezed every last drop of usage out of its buildings, like the Brown Chemistry Lab. 

However, Purdue was not awarded the $2 million for the next three years requested to grow 15 programs at the Purdue Fort Wayne campus. Daniels was hoping to expand advanced manufacturing, IT data sciences, and financial services/risk management services. 

"That's the only thing we didn't succeed in," said Daniels. "I talked to our chancellor this morning and he's going to find the resources elsewhere. Two years ago they offered money for the transition from IPFW to the new PFW. Thinking to be responsible, I said 'thank you, but give us a couple of years so we know what we want to do with it. Now I guess I should have said 'give us the dough!'"

The state budget is scheduled to be approved in Indianapolis Wednesday.

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