Ball State College of Health’s new campus building was officially inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.
The Health Professions Building includes new amenities for students, including “technology and equipment to assess real-life situations with patients,” according to the program schedule given at the ceremony.
The five-story, 165,000-square-foot building on Riverside Avenue, which has been open for a while now, offers facilities ranging from a clinical lab on the third floor to an audiology and speech pathology clinic on the second floor for students, according to the ribbon-cutting ceremony’s program schedule .
“We came here today to dedicate this new building that will allow our students and faculty the opportunity to engage in learning, practice and research in an inter-professional environment,” said Mitchell Whaley, dean of the College of Health.
Whaley said the building will bring Ball State’s faculty, staff and students from nine different locations around campus to “one common where teaching and learning will happen.”
Richard Hall, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the building is expected to provide opportunities for students to receive training in careers that are growing in Indiana.
“There’s a need for healthcare jobs in the state of Indiana, so we think that our students are going to have great opportunities upon graduation to stay here in Indiana and create a better state,” Hall said.
According to the program schedule, the new building includes new environmentally-friendly features like solar panels that will produce more than 10 percent of the building’s annual energy consumption, a green-roof system to improve stormwater management and an underground water-retention system to control water runoff.
Susana Rivera Mills, provost and executive vice-president for academic affairs, said the building was important to raising Ball State’s profile as an institution.
“This new building is going to provide amazing learning opportunities for our students and also engage and serve the community by providing various health services for them as well,” Rivera-Mills said.
President Geoffrey Mearns said the ribbon-cutting ceremony signified “the successful completion of the first of three phases of our university's comprehensive plan to expand and renovate our STEM and health profession facilities.”
According to a press release from the university, the three-phase plan is part of the larger plan of building a new East Quad. The next phase of the project is the construction of the new Foundational Sciences Building slated to be completed in 2021. The final phase of the plan is the renovation of the Cooper Science Complex.
Mearns said these three projects together account for a $210 million investment into Ball State, for which he thanked Gov. Eric Holcomb and members of the Indiana General Assembly.