Ball State & Ivy Tech get state approval for large projects

September 22, 2017 Sue Errington

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) said the State Budget Committee gave its approval to major projects on the Ball State University and Ivy Tech Community College campuses in Muncie.

The committee met on the Ball State campus today to consider these projects and others throughout Indiana. Committee members agreed to allow Ball State to proceed with a $90 million project to build a new residence hall, a dining facility, and reconfiguration of a city street. The committee also approved a $43,027,234 Ivy Tech plan for significant renovations and expansion.

“These are critically important improvements for both campuses,” said Errington. “The new construction and renovations will expand and enhance the academic and residential services offered to students and enable Ball State and Ivy Tech to continue their quest for excellence in education for current and future students. I commend officials at both institutions for their innovative thinking and also extend my appreciation to members of the State Budget Committee for allowing these historically significant projects to proceed.”

The $90 million Ball State project will allow phase one of the New North Residential Neighborhood Project to begin. This effort will allow the university to replace the LaFollette Complex, whose demolition is expected to be completed by 2021. The project actually includes three particular areas, one of which is the construction of a five-story residence hall that will house 500 students, primarily freshmen. The hall will also serve as the home for the STEM Living-Learning Community.

In addition, the overall project includes construction of a stand-alone dining facility which will have eight micro-restaurants and seat between 775-800 diners. In order to complete these projects, located north of the former LaFollette Complex, it will be necessary to realign McKinley Avenue, which will allow a better defining of the university’s north entrance. The realignment will make it safer for both pedestrians and vehicles by eliminating some of the speed and sight issues encountered at the current curve. Reconstruction will include a bus stop, bus pullout, medians, and a roundabout.

Work on the three areas of the project will begin during the summer of 2018. The McKinley Avenue realignment should be completed in 90 days. The new residence hall and dining facility are scheduled to be opened by 2020.

The $90 million will be funded by auxiliary fee bonds paid by housing and dining revenues and reserves. The new residence hall will cost $50 million. The new dining facility will be built for $35 million. And the realignment of McKinley Avenue is budgeted for $5 million.

The $43 million for Ivy Tech projects will include renovations to the outdated Cowan Road location as well as renovations and expansion of downtown Muncie buildings, including the former Star Press Building. That facility will be converted into a stand-alone classroom and teaching lab. The downtown buildings will house nursing, health sciences, culinary, and some liberal arts classes. The downtown project will reduce the leases currently paid by Ivy Tech. The Cowan Road renovations will enable creation of a new technology center.

The $43,027,234 project will be funded with $38.7 million from fee replaced bonds and $4,327,234 from gifts.

There are 4,500 students who study in Muncie at Ivy Tech.