Topic: Board of Trustees

September 8, 2017

Northside Neighborhood rendering

The north side of Ball State's campus will have a new look and feel as part of plans the Ball State University Board of Trustees endorsed on Friday.

Download renderings (PDF).

The external look and feel of the new North Residential Neighborhood was endorsed today by the Ball State University Board of Trustees.

The Board received architectural renderings of the first part of the project that show how it will begin to reshape the northern part of the university under Ball State’s campus master plan. The plan calls for replacing LaFollette, the largest residence hall complex on campus. Its demolition began this summer and is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said the new North Residential Neighborhood will make the university an even more attractive destination for students.

Overall enrollment is now 22,513 — the largest in Ball State’s nearly 100-year history, he noted.

“The new neighborhood will enhance student life,” Mearns said. “It will allow us to attract, retain and graduate high-achieving students, which is critical to the future of the state of Indiana and beyond.”

During its July meeting, the board approved Phase I of the project, which will have a five-story residence hall, a stand-alone dining facility and realignment of McKinley Avenue. The new residence hall will accommodate about 500 students, primarily freshmen, and become the new home of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Living-Learning Community.

This new living-learning experience will encourage academic innovation, said Rick Hall, chair of the Board.

“At the same time, the new residence hall will strengthen the connection to campus,” he said. “Future STEM students will find amenities designed to enhance their classroom instruction.”

The new 65,000-square-foot dining hall will accommodate about 750 patrons in various seating areas on the first floor, including a flexible 125-seat private space for events or partitioned dining.

It will be a micro-restaurant style site with eight areas — Allergen, breakfast, chef action, Italian, desserts, grill and deli/soup, comfort/barbecue and a Starbucks. This style allows for greater flexibility in dining options and future changes.

A centralized prep kitchen and dishwashing areas, along with other back-of-house spaces, will be built, and the building will include housing and dining offices on the second floor.

Estimated cost for Phase 1 is $90 million, with the project scheduled to be completed in 2020. The second phase also will include a residence hall. The project architects, CSO Architects and Schmidt Associates, both of Indianapolis, and key consultants Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Hanbury; and Rundell Ernstberger Associates have been working during the last several months with the university’s Project Design Committee and program stakeholders on issues such as space planning and building design.