Final approval granted for largest state project in university history

September 29 2006

Indiana State University received final approval today to begin work on the $29.8 million renovation of University Hall, the largest state-funded project in the university's history.

At its meeting today, the State Budget Committee approved the release of $26,880,000 in bonding authority for the project which will be the new home for the university's College of Education. The remaining $2,920,000 will be paid for out of university funds.

"This project will be a tremendous boost not only to our College of Education and its students but to the economy of west-central Indiana as well. We would like to extend our appreciation to the governor, his administration and the Indiana General Assembly for authorizing this project," said Lloyd W. Benjamin III, president of Indiana State University.

Renovation of the 1936 facility, which is listed on the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology's historic sites and structures list, will begin in early 2007. The renovated facility is expected to be open for classes beginning in fall 2008. In addition to providing high-tech classrooms and office space, University Hall includes an 800-seat auditorium. The building also features historic murals painted by Terre Haute native Gilbert Wilson, which will be preserved as part of the renovations.

University Hall was originally used both by the school's education program and as the university's lab school, a coincidence that is not lost on Brad Balch, dean of the College of Education.

"It's symbolic that we're moving into a building whose intentional purpose was to meet the clinical teaching and learning needs of our program which still remains our very identity," said Balch.

In addition to enhancing the student's learning environment, the new facility will provide a collaborative atmosphere for faculty interaction, Balch said.

The college's various service clinics and centers will also be located together to provide easy accessibility to the public.

Since 1976, the College of Education has been housed in a 15-story former residence hall. The College of Business, located in the adjoining tower, will also be moving, and the towers will be razed. The College of Business will be moving into the downtown Federal Building, which is scheduled to be turned over to the University by the General Services Administration and the United States Postal Service in 2008.

These moves are expected to save the university and the state of Indiana approximately $900,000 annually in repair and rehabilitation costs, with additional savings anticipated in utility costs.

"Indiana State was created as a normal school to prepare the state's teachers, and over the years we have educated thousands of teachers and administrators. This is a critically important part of our mission, and we are pleased that the state of Indiana is investing in its future," said Benjamin.

Download a print-quality photo of University Hall here:
University Hall

Cutline: University Hall, constructed in 1936, is in line for a $29.8 million renovation to house Indiana State University's College of Education.

Contact and writer: Teresa Exline, university spokesperson, Indiana State University, (812) 237-7783 or

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Story Highlights

The State Budget Committee has approved the release of funds for the $29.8 million renovation of University Hall to house the ISU College of Education. Renovation of the building will provide high-tech classrooms and office space while preserving the historic integrity of the 1936 building and saving the university and the state hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in maintenance and utility costs.

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