Skip to main content

Trustees approve $45 million in major research lab renovation, student housing design

Nov 10, 2023

The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved four items from the Facilities and Auxiliaries Committee meeting Nov. 10, including $45 million in research laboratory renovations that are part of IU’s more than $250 million investment in biosciences and $111 million investment in microelectronics.

For Bloomington, select research laboratories will be renovated and constructed, the architectural design of the Poplars Redevelopment project was accepted, and a change in project cost was granted for Wright Quadrangle renovations. In Indianapolis, portions of Fesler Hall will be updated to house units from the IU School of Medicine.

Laboratory facilities totaling about 94,700 gross square feet will be renovated or constructed across eight buildings in Bloomington to create opportunities to pursue new research funding, partnerships and collaborations for current faculty and aid in recruiting new faculty in these areas. These new research laboratory facilities will support innovative research in technology (microelectronics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity and cyberphysical systems) and life sciences (neurosciences, health and environment, biohealth informatics, medical devices and sensors, and biological mechanisms).

“These renovations will give us a tremendous edge in recruiting top faculty and student to IU and in advancing cutting-edge research on today’s most pressing issues,” said Rahul Shrivastav, executive vice president and provost at IU Bloomington. “With this significant addition in capacity for our research enterprise, I am excited for the new discoveries and collaborations these renovations will make possible.”

High bay shell space at Multidisciplinary Engineering and Science Hall will be built out to provide new lab and support space. A former office building on Ellis Road will be renovated to create new lab facilities. Existing labs in Swain West, Biology, Chemistry/Chemistry Addition, Geological Sciences, Multidisciplinary Science Building II and Simon Hall also will be renovated as needed. Necessary infrastructure upgrades and replacements including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and air exchange systems, along with new technologies and equipment, will ensure a modern and safe environment.

“This renovation project will position IU to be a national leader in cutting-edge science and technology areas that are vital to the state, both in providing contemporary spaces and laboratories for accelerated innovation and opportunities for IU students and trainees to have highly differentiated learning opportunities,” said Russell Mumper, IU vice president for research. “We are grateful for the support of President Whitten and the IU Board of Trustees for this project.”

Project completion is anticipated for July 2026.

Among the projects approved Nov. 10 was the architectural design of the Poplars Redevelopment project on the Bloomington campus. Among the projects approved Nov. 10 was the architectural design of the Poplars Redevelopment project on the Bloomington campus. Artist's rendering courtesy of Capital Planning and Facilities

The Poplars Site Redevelopment is a six-story, approximately 192,000-gross-square-foot building that will provide university-affiliated student housing at the site of the former Poplars Building on the Bloomington campus. The facility will provide 158 units accommodating about 396 beds.

The building will include four-story elements fronting Seventh Street that provide a setback to the upper floors. A series of three landscaped courtyards will open onto Seventh Street to create a friendly and varied pedestrian experience. The central courtyard will serve as the main building entrance, and landscaped berms will soften the areas between the building and public sidewalk.

The base of the building will consist entirely of variegated, smooth-cut limestone veneer and will have taller floors and window openings. Floors 2 to 6 will use red brick that is cohesive with other campus and local buildings. Brick details such as jack arch headers will also be included, and the aluminum windows will include deeper insets and mullion patterns.

The stone base, red brick and beveled-edge synthetic slate roof tile treatments provide distinction between the base, middle and top sections of the building. Bay windows add to the residential feel of the project. The entire building will also include stone accents in the form of headers, surrounds, copings and banding.

The units will range from studio to four bedrooms and will include one-to-one bedroom-to-bathroom parity. Residential units will be located on all floors. The ground floor will also include a lobby off the main entrance courtyard, a leasing and management office area, and interior amenity space for study, collaboration and multipurpose use. Additional amenity space per floor will also be available for use as study rooms and lounges.

The architectural design of the Poplars Redevelopment was developed by Torti Gallas + Partners of Washington, D.C. Project completion is anticipated for March 2026.

The trustees also approved renovating sections of the first and second floors of Fesler Hall on the Indianapolis campus. The project will return about 18,700 gross square feet of existing space to more appropriate use as office, classroom and support areas. It will also consolidate portions of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Anesthesia into Fesler with other IU School of Medicine units.

Aged research and building infrastructure that does not meet current standards will be removed. Fire alarms and sprinklers will be updated, along with LED lighting, electrical and data service, mechanical systems and controls, and the first- and second-floor lobbies. New offices, a classroom and support areas will also be created. Project completion is anticipated for December 2024.

Due to construction cost escalation and supply chain disruptions, a new estimated construction cost for the Wright Quadrangle Renovation on the Bloomington campus was provided as $72.3 million, excluding furniture, fixtures and equipment. Project completion is anticipated for December 2024.


Capital Planning and Facilities

Beth Feickert

More stories