VINCENNES, Ind. - A campus already cited for its beauty and accessibility will soon be enhanced as the result of six new projects valued at $15.6 million.
PHOTO - From left, Vincennes University President Dick Helton talks with Kent Scheller, Evansville, and George Rehnquist, Princeton, prior to a meeting of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education at VU on Friday. Both Scheller and Rehnquist are members of the Commission. The meeting was at the Indiana Center for Applied Technology.
Vincennes University hosted the Indiana Commission for Higher Education Thursday and Friday. The visit included tours, meetings, and a presentation by VU President Dick Helton that highlighted VU’s initiatives on campus and throughout the state. Today the Commission approved $3.8 million for a new VU Art Center, $4.25 million for renovating Morris Residence Hall, and almost $3.1 million for renovating Vanderburgh Residence Hall. In addition, the Commission also approved three other projects that are underway, or are soon to be underway at VU. They include a $2 million renovation project for the five-story section of the Technology Center, a $1.6 million renovation project for the Welsh Administration Building, and a $900,000 project to relocate the Jerry Blemker Baseball Field to a site near the intersection of Old Terre Haute Road and Niblack Blvd.
“Members of the Commission for Higher Education were very complimentary about our campus and facilities. With these additional investments, I am confident that VU will continue its leadership in offering students some of the best higher education assets in Indiana. I appreciate the Commission’s continued support for Vincennes University,” said Helton.
Phil Rath, vice president of Financial Services and Government Relations, said he was pleased with the Commission’s visit to VU and that that members spoke highly of VU during their visit to campus. “One of the new commission members, Eileen O’Neil Odum, told me that she thought that VU was one of the best-maintained campuses she has visited. Another new member, Chris LaMothe, told me he was very impressed with the technology offered to our students,” Rath said.
The $3.8 million Art Center will be located on College Avenue between Third and Fourth streets, across the street from the Dayson Foundation and Alumni Center. The new 15,224 square-foot facility will include new equipment and technology for art instruction as well as a small gallery for exhibiting student works. It will replace the current Art Annex Building at the corner of Third and Scott streets.
The renovations to both Morris and Vanderburgh Halls total just over $7 million. Both projects include energy efficiency and electrical system upgrades as well as complete upgrades of HVAC systems to improve air quality, control, and comfort. Vanderburgh Hall will have all exterior windows replaced and Morris Hall will have an upgrade to the exterior skin of the building. Both projects are funded by revenue bonds supported by housing operation revenue.
Vanderburgh Hall currently houses 432 students in 216 rooms and Morris Hall houses 378 students in 189 rooms.
The $1.6 million Welsh Administration Building renovation will include a new entry and a canopy that will connect the building to Governor’s Hall. An elevator will also be added to the three-story section of the building.
The $2 million renovation of the five-story section of the Technology Building will include upgrading restrooms, fire sprinkler system, and the internal structure. It is the first phase of modernizing the building that originally was an industrial facility.
“Taken together, these projects are a major step forward for the campus. In addition to changing the face of the campus, these projects will improve quality of instruction and residence life, enhancing the total student experience. They will make VU more attractive to prospective students and that is important in this competitive market,” Rath said.