The Ball State Board of Trustees approved phase one of the new North Residential neighborhood, which is set to replace the space of the LaFollette Complex.
The first phase of the North Residential Neighborhood, outlined in the Campus Master Plan, includes three different projects. Under this phase one new five-story residence hall, a stand-alone dining facility and road reconstruction will be built, totaling to $90 million.
Under phase one, the new residence hall will accommodate about 500 students, primarily freshmen, and serve as the home of the STEM Living-Learning Community.
“These changes will complement the new health professions and science buildings on the campus’ eastern edge,” President Geoffrey S. Mearns said in a press release. “Our STEM students will have first-rate spaces to live and learn.”
McKinley Avenue will be realigned to better define the north entrance to campus, which will enhance pedestrian and vehicular safety by eliminating some of the sight and speed issues at the current curve, according to a press release. The reconstruction will feature a roundabout, medians, a bus pullout and a bus stop.
Jim Lowe, associate vice president for facilities planning and management, said the university will break ground on the realignment of McKinley Avenue next summer, with construction lasting 90 days. At the same time, the university will start construction on the new residence hall and dining facility. These two facilities will be ready by 2020.
Phase two includes a second residence hall to be built in the area, projected to be built by 2021.
"By 2021, we have the ability to go in and completely remove LaFollette," Lowe said.
Bernie Hannon, treasurer and vice president for business affairs said this project is "part of an ongoing strategy to offer high quality housing and dining options to students."
According to the Campus Master Plan, the North Residential Neighborhood will also feature new academic buildings and open spaces including large open lawns and courtyard quadrangles among McKinley Avenue.
University officials will now seek state approval to proceed with the project.
The board also approved the creation of the Department of Construction Management and Interior Design as well as the Department of Family, Consumer and Technology Education. Both departments will work as part of phasing out the College of Applied Sciences and Technology (CAST), which was dissolved by the University Senate in April.
Other points from the meeting:
- Junior English literature major Marlee Jacocks was appointed as the new student trustee. Jacocks will be serving a two-year term.
- Vice President Kay Bales projects this year's total enrollment to reach 22,170 students, compared to 21,998 last year. The freshman class is projected at 4,368, which is close to the largest freshman class in 19 years, breaking an institutional record.
- Interim Provost Marilyn Buck said 10 faculty members will be retiring this year with a total of over 200 years of service to Ball State.
- The board approved the 2017-18 budgets for various areas of the university, including the general fund, auxiliary funds and the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities.
- The groundbreaking and construction of Health Professions Building is projected to start this fall.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be September 8.