June 11, 2024

Purdue board OKs $187M building, the first for its Indianapolis campus

Purdue University in Indianapolis will officially split from IUPUI on July 1, 2024. - Courtesy of Purdue University

Purdue University in Indianapolis will officially split from IUPUI on July 1, 2024.

Courtesy of Purdue University

By Claire Rafford

Purdue University’s board of trustees approved plans June 7 for the first new building on its Indianapolis campus, which will include a mix of classroom and residential space.

The $187-million, 248,000-square-foot facility, called the Academic Success Building, will include classrooms, laboratories and a dining area, as well as dorms to accommodate nearly 500 students.

“This will be the hub of Purdue in Indianapolis,” vice president for physical facilities and public safety Jay Wasson told Mirror Indy.

The building will be located on what’s now a parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection of Michigan and West streets. It’s part of 28 acres of land that Purdue plans to develop into its Indianapolis campus — located north of Michigan Street, south of Indiana Avenue and west of West Street.

The building will be partially funded by $60 million from the Indiana General Assembly. Construction will begin in February 2025 and is scheduled to be completed in May 2027.

Purdue is essentially building a campus from scratch, as IU is retaining ownership of IUPUI’s buildings in the split.

As a short-term solution for students, Purdue has leased two-thirds of North Hall, an IUPUI dorm, and has the option to purchase the dorm eventually. The university’s also leasing 400 beds at Lux on Capitol, an apartment complex just off campus at Michigan Street and Capitol Avenue.

Purdue is also leasing five IUPUI engineering and technology buildings from IU to use for classes and lab research. 

Construction of Purdue’s new campus coincides with the city of Indianapolis’ redevelopment of Indiana Avenue. In the 1960s and ‘70s, IUPUI displaced many Black residents of the near westside to build its campus, which led to the decline of Indiana Avenue as a hub of Black culture.

Wasson said Purdue is working with the city to support that redevelopment plan. He also said Purdue specifically planned that its first building would not be along Indiana Avenue.

“We want to let that process come to fruition so that we will have a better understanding of how our campus development can complement what the city and other stakeholders want to do along the corridor,” he said.

Purdue is going to house its executive education program at High Alpha in the Bottleworks District along Mass Ave and recently announced they plan to have facilities at Elanco Animal Health’s new headquarters and at 16 Tech Innovation District.

Claire Rafford covers higher education for Mirror Indy in partnership with Open Campus. Contact Claire at claire.rafford@mirrorindy.org or on social media @clairerafford.

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