Ball State announces plans for new residence hall, hotel facility

Ball State student tuition will not be used to pay for a new $25 million university hotel and residence hall, the school said today.

The new facility, McKinley Commons, will be located on the northeast corner of University and McKinley avenues and will include a four-story residence hall, hotel, conference center and two restaurants.

"The facility will be an attractive destination and gathering space for visitors to campus, the hospital, and the larger community," President Jo Ann Gora said in a letter to students and faculty released this morning.

"Working directly with industry professionals, students will benefit from exposure to and involvement in the management of a full-service hospitality operation. They will gain experience in personnel management, cost control, pricing, marketing, customer service, and event planning and management."

The facility is considered an auxiliary operation, and therefore will not require capital funding from the state or student tuition, Gora said.

The building is expected to house 50 dorm rooms for students, 100 high-end hotel rooms, a series of conference rooms, a student-run retail area and two restaurants with qualities similar to those located in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center and the Atrium.

Gora said part of the plan is to help the Village entertainment district near campus.

"Desire to revitalize the Village is broad and deep in our community, and we can help," she said.

"Our vision is that this development will benefit not only our students but also our community... We hope it will help attract additional private investment in the area," Gora said. "This is a way we can do our part to make the Village a destination to live, work, and play."

The new building will also replace the existing hotel located in the Student Center.

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