Indiana State University Newsroom

Sandison Hall re-opens after an $11 million renovation

August 16, 2010

A recent multi-million dollar renovation to one of Indiana State's residence halls not only improves the quality of life for students, but it provides academic support and learning opportunities for future health care practitioners.

Reopening this fall following an $11 million renovation, Sandison Hall will feature the McKee Nursing Center, equipped with the latest technology for students majoring in nursing and other health care careers to get valuable hands-on learning opportunities. In addition to students serving as assistants and academic peer advocates, nursing and related health care faculty will now have more opportunities to go where their students live and be available to interact with them outside the classroom.

A gift from nursing professor emerita Nancy McKee and her husband, Dale, established the center and created an endowment to fund future programs and maintenance.

"This is much more than just an investment in bricks and mortar," said Biff Williams, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services. "This gift, together with the innovative concept of this residential facility, will facilitate the academic success of our nursing students."

Sandison Hall, a coed residence hall adjacent to Hulman Memorial Student Union near the center of campus, will house 229 students in air-conditioned, double occupancy rooms with private baths. It will house future healthcare professionals on five of its eight residential floors and will serve as the new home for the Leadership Learning Community. The McKee Nursing Center will be located on the first floor, with additional space on the lower level for conferences and group study sessions.

"Sandison Hall is truly a living and learning environment," said Rex Kendall, director of Residential Life. "We are very excited about the opportunities Sandison provides for its residents."

Indiana State has offered themed housing to first-year nursing students for the past seven years with nursing majors as resident assistants and academic peer advocates living alongside underclassmen to assist them. The gift from the McKees, coupled with the Sandison renovation, allows the baccalaureate nursing program to expand that living arrangement to include sophomores.

"The first two years of college can be especially stressful academically for nursing majors. Faculty will now have more opportunities to go where students live and be available to them outside the classroom. This will help more students make it through those challenging years, complete their ISU nursing degrees, and go on to provide much needed health care in Indiana and beyond," Deb Barnhart, associate professor of nursing and academic advisor to first year nursing students, said.

Each floor has a resident assistant who is there to assist the residents, program for the floor and to ensure the floor is conducive for both studying and sleeping. An academic peer advocate for Athletic Training students will be housed in Sandison to assist students with their academic transition to Indiana State. Two leadership peer advocates will be housed on the Leadership Learning Community floors to help students with their leadership skills and community service projects.

Constructed in 1962 and last renovated in 1988, Sandison Hall is named after Indiana State Normal School alumnus Howard Sandison, who served as the school's vice president from 1881 to 1917.

Contact: Rex Kendall, ISU Residential Life, 812-237-3993

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812-237-3783 or