College of Architecture and Planning. DN FILE PHOTO SAVANNAH NEIL
College of Health, renovations primary projects on requested budget
Ball State is requesting $22 million more for the 2016-17 academic year from the state than it did for 2014-15.
Next spring, the Indiana legislature will decide on the funding, which includes steps to continue expansion and construction of campus, while wrapping up the current strategic plan. The request lists four major changes to the buildings on campus and efforts to increase the university's effectiveness.
In 2015, the university’s total budget will be $145.7 million. Pending state approval, the next two years after 2015 could be $166.7 million and $165.8 million.
$166.59 million, 14.3% change from 2015
$165.83 million, 13.8% change from 2015
The difference in 2016 and 2017 stems from the reduction in debt the university owes because the actual operating budget between those years will remain relatively the same with just an estimated $100,000 difference between the 2016 and 2017.
The projects and initiatives that require money from the state include the new College of Health Sciences and Professions, renovations to the campus’ extensive tunnel network and improving student recruitment and faculty retention.
Top Four Projects
Phase One - College of Health Sciences and Professions and Cooper Science Building
Totaling $62.5 million, the university’s expansion of its health and sciences programs will involve the construction of a new building for the College of Health Sciences and Professions, $52.5 million, and renovations to Cooper Science Building, $10 million.
The first phase of the project will construct the college of health’s building and evaluate and plan the renovations to Cooper.
According to the request, the facilities that support science and health programs on campus are inadequate in size and quality in relation to the size of the student body, as well as the needs of the surrounding East Central Indiana area.
“In the past 10 years alone, enrollment in chemistry programs has grown by 21 percent, biology by 9 percent and nursing by 47 percent,” the budget request says. “This would be the first science building constructed on the Ball State campus since the 1960s.”
College of Architecture and Planning
The second-highest budget item on the request is a $27.5 million upgrade to the College of Architecture and Planning’s utilities. Other improvements include replacing portions of the roof, additional bathrooms, an additional 13 new studios and larger wood, plastic and steel model and fabrication shops.
Campus Utilities Distribution and Energy Efficiency Project
Running underneath Ball State’s 660-acre campus is a series of tunnels that connect its 104 buildings. These tunnels house utilities and service lines such as chilled and hot water, compressed air and communication cables.
The requested $11.6 million would be used to reconstruct certain tunnels, some of which were built in the 1930s.
Department of Theatre and Dance Instructional Venue
A $6.2 million project would create 16,750 gross square feet of new space and renovate about 8,000 gross square feet of existing space for the department of theatre and dance.
This expansion is targeted at increasing the number of classrooms and proper performance and rehearsal spaces for the department’s programs. It will also help the department meet the minimum requirement for program accreditation.
The report said theatre and dance students often have to practice in hallways, and the small number of classrooms makes it difficult to schedule classes and graduate on-time.
“In 1996, there were 185 majors in the department of theatre and dance, and now there are over 400 today,” the report says.
Other Line Items
Investing in Student Success and Quality
This $6 million investment consists of continued development toward increasing on-time graduation, student advising and retention for students.
For faculty, the investment covers increasing the number of tenured faculty and salaries.
The report said Ball State ranks last in the Mid-American Conference and 14th in the state for average salaries for full and associate professors.
College for Sciences, Math and Humanities
Funding continues for the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, which totals $5.1 million in 2016 and $5.2 million in 2017.
Entrepreneurial University $5.91 million
The Entrepreneurial University was the university’s last strategic plan. Ball State still requires funding for certain aspects of the plan, including enrolling academically prepared students, an immersive curriculum and developing methods for measuring outcomes in academic excellence and economic improvement.