By Rachel Leber
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — High-tech labs and facilities are now part of the fast-growing College of Health and Human Services at Indiana State University (ISU) in Terre Haute. The university unveiled Phase I of the new facility on Dec. 15 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Ratio Architects, based out of Indianapolis, was the architecture firm chosen for the project, with locally based Hannig Construction serving as the general contractor. Construction on the facility project began in July 2016, with a budget of $64 million, making it the largest state-funded project in ISU’s history.
The project includes an 87,000-square-foot expansion to house new academic programs, and the new building will be ready for occupancy in spring 2018. The facility connects multiple departments including the schools of Nursing, the school of Social Work, Applied Health Science as well as and Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports.
One of ISU’s goals for the new facility is to help its approximately 3,500 students enrolled in the College of Health and Human Services aim for higher paying, high-demand healthcare careers. The new facility is fitted with smart classrooms, new labs and the latest technology to facilitate learning and collaboration among disciplines needed throughout the state. In addition, interior spaces have been reconfigured to enable academic programs to function more efficiently.
Major upgrades will also improve temperature control and air quality in the building, as many of the mechanical, electrical and lighting systems that exist in the building are original and have been extended well past normal expected life cycles, according to the 2015 to 2017 ISU operational/capital budget executive summary.
“Inter-professional education is key to improvements in healthcare, and we truly are at the forefront of that at Indiana State,” said Dan Bradley, president of ISU at the ribbon-cutting, according to a recent statement. “In addition to the impact the facility will have on our students and local and state workforce, it will dramatically transform the appearance of our campus from Third Street and create a new main entrance to Indiana State.”
Phase I of the project includes an outpatient clinic, nursing simulation and skills labs, a biomechanics center, exercise physiology, therapeutic and neuro labs and applied health science and motor skills labs. In addition, it includes two 150-person lecture halls, space for physical education and training,faculty offices, graduate research suites and a wellness garden.
Following the completion of Phase I in the spring, Phase II will begin, which will provide a comprehensive rehabilitation of ISU’s aquatic and hydrotherapy pools and will expand the existing north gym to include an eight-lane regulation indoor competition track. In addition, a renovation of classrooms and labs in the existing 1960s-arena building will take place.
Phase II will also feature a four-story glass atrium with an abundance of lounge space as well as a two-story open walkway that will run east-west across the building. The new atrium will provide an abundance of natural light for the building as well as open spaces for better interaction and collaboration for students, according to Bryan Duncan, director of capital planning and improvements at ISU in a recent article with the Tribune Star.
The completion of the many improvements and upgrades of Phase II are expected by spring 2019.