Martin Hall to receive updates

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Nursing, physical and occupational therapy and athletic training are just a few of the programs now housed in the Health Pavilion, leaving much of Martin Hall unused. But renovation plans exist for the hall as part of University of Indianapolis’ 5-year, $50 million plan.

Martin Hall is not closed off for this year.  According to Director of  Facility and Space Planning Andrea Newsom, there are several programs currently using the space this semester.

“A lot of the existing Martin Hall classrooms are being used for new scheduled classes,” Newsom said. “There are some modern language classes taking place there, biology is offering some classes in there, and I also believe that the math tutoring lab is being offered in Martin Hall on the third floor.”

According to Newsom, the university anticipates issuing a request for proposals at the end of this year for the renovation. This means the university will ask different architects and  general contractors to come together and provide a narrative of what the building is and what it needs to be.

These companies will then provide proposals to the university, stating what they recommend the university do for the renovations. University administrators will then evaluate the proposals to see which would best meet the university’s needs and vision.

“The main focuses when it comes to our vision is, how do we meet the needs of the students, the environment for faculty and collision and creative space for students to be engaged in active learning with their peers and with the faculty,”  Newsom said.

Newsom said that one of the ways the administration is staying on track with its focus is through the expansion and upgrade of Martin and Lilly Halls for the math and sciences. The renovation will be beneficial not only for the classroom setting, but for individual and group study as well.

“The goal is to provide space for the sciences and math to have a permanent home and give them additional room,” Newsom said. “Some of the things we are looking for in terms of additional room are lab space, both wet and dry lab space. We’re also looking for space where students can come together with students in other majors, where students can interact with professors. On top of that, we’d like to see some maker space … lab space where students can come together and work on projects together, where they can brainstorm, where they can develop, where they can come up with new solutions to existing problems through their understanding of math and sciences.”

With half of the student body majoring in a health field, according to the Strategic Plan explanation on the university’s website at, the renovations are beneficial for the demands of these programs. But Newsom said the administration is continuing to search for other ways to advance departments across the university.

“We’re actively looking at the campus-wide space strategy to determine what movement of which departments makes the most sense, given our current space,” Newsom said. “So it’s an opportunity for us to be strategic as a university. The university is becoming more complex, which is great. And what it requires us to do is to determine what is the best use of our physical space, which is a tremendous asset. So rather than all of a sudden start moving people into temporary spaces, it is more efficient to take a look overall at the space we have on campus and try to make those decisions to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.”

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