Construction of the new Bioscience Innovation Building on the Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Hammond Campus will begin July 2—one of several details about the upcoming project shared by Jacob Lenson, assistant vice chancellor for Campus Planning, Project and Space Management.
The primary goal for the $40.5 million building is to design a cross-disciplinary educational space shared by programs in nursing and biology. It is hoped this will help PNW to positively impact health care in Northwest Indiana—the number two economic generator in the region.
The building’s estimated 68,000 square foot interior will be designed to create a dynamic learning environment promoting collaboration and encouraging dialogue, within an agile space that can be adapted for future modifications and reconfigured as needs change.
Preparing for change
It’s been nearly 20 years since a new building has been constructed on the Hammond Campus. While there is a lot of excitement in what the Bioscience Innovation Building means to the future of health care education at Purdue Northwest, the sights and sounds that come with a construction project of this scale will be something the Hammond Campus hasn’t experienced in quite some time.
There will be inconveniences that come with any major construction project, but PNW’s leadership and those directly involved in the project have also been thoughtful to minimize as much as possible disruptions to the daily routines of students, faculty and staff.
Entrances to the Student Union and Library Building (SUL) and Lawshe Hall (LAWS) will remain open and unaffected by the construction. As well, pedestrian walkways will be routed around a fenced-in construction site and will remain open throughout the construction.
Of the two bus stops south of SUL, the stop located in the southeast turnaround will remain unaffected. The other stop, located directly south of SUL, will be relocated to a spot yet to be determined.
Understanding the potential impact the building’s construction could have on campus parking, an extensive utilization study of campus parking was commissioned last fall. The study found, that even during peak hours, many parking areas on campus were not filled to capacity. Most notably, the study found the 169th Street parking garage to be severely underutilized, with approximately 425 vacant spots during peak hours.
These findings assured university officials sufficient parking will be available to students, faculty and staff throughout the bioscience building’s construction. The fenced area around the construction site is expected to displace approximately 250 parking spaces between the gated lot east of LAWS and the lot directly south of SUL.
Looking ahead to fall
A website for sharing information and tracking the construction’s progress is currently being established. Special announcements will be sent to the PNW community when the site launches and as plans are finalized for a commemorative groundbreaking on the morning of the Hammond Campus Welcome Rally, Aug. 23.