The University of Indianapolis has undergone a number of changes since students left campus after the 2014-2015 academic year. Updates and renovations to the library, campus apartments, athletic facilities and finishing touches to the Health Pavilion have been underway since May.
One of the biggest projects that faced the University was the library renovation. Krannert Memorial Library Director Matthew Shaw outlined many of the updates and improvements the library will have to offer.
“The new library is going to be a beautiful, modern destination for our students, faculty and community,” Shaw said. “The newly-installed east curtain wall, along with the existing glass on the north side of the building, will bring natural light into the library and provide users with attractive views of the Smith Mall and downtown. A glass-enclosed grand staircase will connect all four floors and contribute to the feeling of contemporary openness. The library will also include a variety of comfortable and functional study furniture. Our iconic egg chairs will remain, alongside new pieces like the Brody Work Lounges— an innovative, self-contained study unit from Steelcase— which will be located on the third Floor.”
There also have been improvements to the Frederick D. Hill University Archives and Special Collections, the Learning Lab, the ASK Desk, group study rooms and the 24-hour lab. The library also is adding a cafe, which may not be ready by Aug. 31 like the rest of the new library features, according to Shaw. He said that other than the possible delay regarding the cafe, there have not been any significant delays during the summer construction.
“Our architects, builders and other contractors have been very committed to the aggressive renovation time line,” Shaw said. “Our building originally opened in 1977, and our partners were fully prepared to address issues as they arose. I have been extremely impressed by the diligence and cooperation of those involved in the renovation.”
Along with the extensive library renovations, the university’s athletic facilities also have received major face lifts. Notably, Key Stadium, home venue to five sports, was resurfaced and painted to be able to house football, soccer and lacrosse practices and matches. According to Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Sue Willey, the university raised money to pay for the new turf.
There also is a new basketball court in Nicoson Hall, which was donated by Ray Skillman during the 2014-2015 season. Compared to the old court, the new one should be easier for athletes to compete on.
“The new floor in Nicoson is completely redone,” Willey said. “This floor should be much easier on the athletes’ joints, as the old floor was very, very hard and had no give to it.”
Willey said the court also will be home to some volleyball matches throughout the year. She said that throughout the busy summer, the only setback has been the new lacrosse practice field.
“The practice field is behind schedule, due to weather, permits and other issues,” Willey said. “I know they will complete it as soon as possible, but it will, most likely, be the middle of October before it is usable.”
Along with these improvements to the campus, the Health Pavilion is scheduled to be ready for the 2015-2016 school year. The pavilion will be home to all healthcare- and wellness-related academic programs.
In addition to its academic purpose, it will also house clinical facilities for members of the surrounding community. The $28 million project is in its final stages, and workers have been seen moving classroom and other equipment into the building over the past few weeks.