IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar, Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison and IU President Michael A. McRobbie tour Innovation Hall on Monday, March 1, 2021. The building welcomed in-person classes in January. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie joined IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar March 1 for a tour of several construction projects that demonstrate the university's continued investment in health sciences and the Indianapolis community.
The tour, led by Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison, started at Innovation Hall. The building welcomed its first in-person classes in January and serves the evolving research and teaching needs of programs in the School of Science, the School of Engineering and Technology, and the School of Informatics and Computing. The space is designed to encourage greater collaboration between the schools. In addition to classrooms and offices, it includes state-of-the-art research and lab spaces, a theater and a makerspace.
As part of IU's Bicentennial Repair and Rehabilitation Plan, IUPUI's Health Sciences Building is undergoing major repairs and renovations, including the installation of a new curtain wall in the building’s central bay to bring natural light into the facility and new study and lounge spaces with enhanced lighting and exterior views. Other repairs aim to enhance the building’s accessibility, efficiency and safety.
Work on the Health Sciences Building is taking place as IU continues to strengthen its role in improving — through its acclaimed programs in medical education and research — the health and wellbeing of citizens of Indiana and beyond. It also comes as IU has been expanding its footprint in the health sciences and medicine with several new facilities around the state, including the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences in Evansville, which was dedicated in 2018, and the Regional Academic Health Center in Bloomington, which, last month, welcomed its first students from IU Bloomington’s health sciences programs.
McRobbie and Paydar visited historic Ball Residence Hall, which opened in 1928 for nursing students only and now houses approximately 325 first-year students in all majors, who reside in the building’s single, double and triple rooms.
Renovations to Ball Residence Hall include updating student rooms with in-room air conditioning and heat control; remodeling current restrooms and installing single-use restrooms for increased privacy; adding a new laundry room with new washers and dryers; updating mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems; and making exterior improvements. While the renovation will bring new and updated features to the residence, many of the building’s celebrated features will remain, including its historic character, 1920s charm and the ever-popular Ball Gardens, which serve as the building’s "backyard."
The construction tour concluded at one of Indianapolis' most beloved landmarks, The Madam Walker Legacy Center, which was completely renovated and modernized as part of a partnership between IU and the Madam Walker Theatre Center. Upgrades to the historic building — supported by grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. —include new offices, classrooms and event spaces for use by IUPUI and the Madam Walker Legacy Center. The partnership also includes new programming designed to better serve the community, including classes, workshops, seminars and a speaker series.
African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker built her empire in the building, which is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
"The Madam Walker Theatre Center is an iconic treasure of the Indianapolis cultural community and a vital piece of our state's and country's history," McRobbie said. "This partnership advances the legacy of its namesake by continuing the center's longstanding mission of educating, empowering, entertaining and celebrating our rich cultural diversity."