The University of Indianapolis board of trustees approved last February a strategic plan to develop better programs and facilities within the next five years.
First on that list is a new health complex that would include a brand new facility to help develop the university’s health science programs. However, the new building was set to go on the land previously occupied by the UIndy police department building.
The campus police department then was relocated to a building that previously served as the Music Annex for the music department and as storage space for the theatre department.
The university police department is now located on Shelby Avenue, across the street from Fifth Third Bank. It is now more central to the residence halls and much closer to Campus Apartment and traffic activity, said Chief of Police and Director of Campus Security David Selby.
Over the summer, the building was remodeled to meet the needs of a police station. There are offices for the chief and lieutenant, new interview rooms equipped with a camera and sound, a squad room, a conference room and a basement for evidence storage.
The department gained a number of upgrades, one being a new dispatch system. Previously, when the police station was contacted, they received the call directly to their radio.
Often there could be technical problems that might not allow the officer to hear clearly or that could cause the call to be dropped.
The new dispatch system allows the station to be contacted directly on a telephone, with the caller able to speak to an operator who can then radio an on-duty officer. Selby said he is pleased with the new station.
“The university gave us a really nice space,” he said. “We’ve got more room, more area to expand. This [Shelby Avenue] is a much better location.”
The Music Annex previously served as a space for jazz and guitar activities for undergrad and graduate students. Students now use the basement of Warren Hall as storage and practice space.
Regardless of any inconvenience, music department chair Brenda Clark had a positive attitude about the move.
“We try and keep the bigger picture in mind, realizing that the whole campus is in a period of change,” Clark said.
With the new building on campus comes the opportunity for other departments to stretch out a bit Clark said. She is hopeful that these new outcomes will allow for not only a new space for health sciences, but the rearrangement for later space to be awarded for the music department as well.
“We are excited for the potential,” Clark said.
Along with the music department, the theatre department also used the back garage section of the Music Annex for storage, according to head of costumes for the theatre department Penny Sornberger.
Sornberger said the majority of the theatre’s costume stock was stored there along with any donations they received. The theatre department was given a university-owned house on Castle Avenue after the move from the annex.
Although the theatre department lost the ability to store things at different height levels, being closer to Esch Hall made transporting costumes a little easier, Sornberger said.
During the summer of 2013, student workers for the theatre department organized the storage in the annex, and during the move this summer a lot of things were left disorganized, Sornberger said, but, the theatre department did not let that get them down.
“We’re theatre people,” Sornberger