IU plans student activities building on Kokomo campus, landscape projects in Bloomington and Gary

A request to construct a facility for student activities and events on the Kokomo campus, along with designs for landscape projects on the Bloomington and Gary campuses, were approved by the Indiana University Board of Trustees at today's Facilities and Auxiliaries Committee meeting on the Bloomington campus. Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities Thomas A. Morrison presented the requests.

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The plaza at the Anderson Library/Conference Center on the IU Northwest campus will be renovated to include a new performance area with additional seating and greenspace. Rendering courtesy of the Office of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities

Project approval was granted for construction of a new, approximately 26,000-gross-square-foot Student Activities and Events Center in Kokomo. This project will provide an indoor, on-campus facility capable of hosting large groups for university events, as well as health, wellness, physical education, recreation and athletics activities. Architectural designs will be presented for approval at a later meeting.

"The campus is excited about the new IU Kokomo Student Activities and Events Center, which will become a central gathering place for students, faculty, staff and members of the communities we serve," IU Kokomo Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said. "This facility will be a vehicle for community-building, providing wonderful opportunities for student convocations and other co-curricular activities, athletic events, and large gatherings of middle school and high school students who come to visit campus."

The trustees also approved architectural designs for three landscape projects -- two in Bloomington and one on the Gary campus.

The first of the two Bloomington design approvals will make improvements to the Jordan River corridor. This project will address overall deterioration and will include repairs to retaining walls, river banks and lawns, as well as removal and replacement of invasive plant species.

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Improvements to the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and Seventh Street on the Bloomington campus will include an iron and limestone gate and pedestrian plazas. Rendering courtesy of the Office of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities

"The Jordan River is a crucial part of the natural environment for which the Bloomington campus is nationally recognized," Morrison said. "Time, weather, traffic and the overall growth of the campus have taken their toll, and the river's corridor needs repairs to ensure its vitality for generations to come."

The second project will install a limestone and iron gate along with pedestrian plazas at the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and Seventh Street near the Indiana Memorial Union. The functioning wrought-iron gate with limestone columns will complement other recently installed campus gateways while screening the IMU loading dock. An adjacent limestone headwall over the Jordan River also will be reconstructed as part of this project.

"Several recent projects have focused on completion of the Woodlawn Avenue corridor from the academic core to the athletics complex per the Bloomington Campus Master Plan," Morrison said. "This gate and nearby plazas will provide a finishing touch to that work while referencing other campus gateways."

Also approved was a renovation of the plaza at the Anderson Library/Conference Center in Gary. The renovation will add a performance stage and shade structure while repurposing portions of the sunken plaza into seating and converting existing hardscape into greenspace.

"After nearly 40 years, it is time for a more contemporary and much greener approach to the core of our campus," IU Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe said. "We look forward to having more green space, convenient seating and a versatile performance area, which will renew our Anderson Library Plaza as an attractive focus for study, co-curricular activity or simply relaxing."

Beth Feickert is a capital planning project specialist for the IU Office of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities.