Renovations for Schmidt/Wilson halls in the Johnson West Complex (formerly called Johnson B) are coming along nicely with construction on schedule.

The Schmidt/Wilson halls, named for two former professors — Angie Wilson, associate professor of social science, and Fred J. Schmidt, professor and head of the industrial arts — was originally opened in 1969 and has not been renovated since 1998.

In August 2015, Ball State's Board of Trustees approved the more than $40 million renovation project for the dorm that started in the beginning of May 2015.

Johnson West Complex building basics:  

  • Square footage: 1,22,650 square feet
  • Number of beds: 505 (most are doubles)
  • Number of stories: 8
  • Architect: Schmidt Associates, Indianapolis 
  • Contractor: Shiel Sexton
  • Living-Learning Communities assigned here: Design and Theatre/Dance

Information found on Schmidt/Wilson Residence Halls Fact Sheet. 

Expectations for the long-term plan to renovate and upgrade the housing complex during that time were expected to be completed by Fall 2017, but Housing and Residence Life is now reporting that the building will be completed by June 2017.

“The building renovation is on schedule and we expect to receive the building in June from the contractor so we can clean and prepare the building, as well as install the furnishings, for an August 2017 move in,” George Edwards, associate director of facilities for housing and residence life, said in an email.

The Ball State Daily News reported that the project is part of Ferguson’s "18 by ‘18," or Centennial Commitment, which looks to accomplish 18 goals by Ball State’s centennial anniversary in 2018.

Like the Botsford/Swinford halls of the Johnson East Complex (formerly called Johnson A), the Schmidt/Wilson halls in Johnson West will be home to a living learning community. Returning students currently in the Design and Theatre/Dance LLCs will have the opportunity to sign up for a space in the halls. Students pursuing majors that are linked to these LLCs will likely also be assigned to the building.

Upper-level students living in those communities now will have an opportunity to request a room in Johnson West during returner room sign up, Edwards said

In addition, the new complex will feature rectangular double rooms with semi-private restrooms, bunkable furniture, two-story lounges, a black box theater, dance studio, music practice rooms, design/craft room, seminar space, advanced laundry room, technology center and exercise room.

Rumors of LaFollette Complex being torn down have surfaced as Johnson West construction is close to completion, but Edwards said housing and residence life is “not aware of future plans for LaFollette.”

“We will continue with plans for the replacement of LaFollette bed spaces,” said Alan Hargrave, associate vice president and director of housing and residence life.

Regardless, Johnson West is expected to bring a major improvement to the university, which has students and staff excited for the future.

“We are pleased that the building renovation has been successful and look forward to serving students in this new building in the fall,” he said.