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10/6/2018 4:47:00 PM
Rose-Hulman breaks ground on new $29 million academic building

Howard Greninger, Tribune-Star

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will have a new $29 million academic building by fall of 2021.

The new, three-story structure will be located east of Moench Hall and connect into the Myers Buildings, with a courtyard to be in the middle.

Officials on Friday staged a groundbreaking for the new facility, made possible through a $15 million lead gift from an anonymous donor. 

“We are incredibly lucky to have a donor who shares the vision of how this new academic building will impact our faculty and most importantly our students. The donor has asked to remain anonymous but it does not make this gift any less moving,” said Steve Brady, vice president for institutional advancement at Rose-Hulman.

Brady read a statement from the anonymous donor during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday on campus.

“Rose-Hulman has always held a special place in mine and my family’s heart,” the donor wrote. “What has always impressed us about Rose-Hulman graduates is their unquenchable desire to use their knowledge and understanding to solve problems. And I cannot think of a better way to help Rose-Hulman and society as a whole than by helping Rose-Hulman build a new academic building.”

Brady continued, reading from the donor statement, “The solution to the many of world’s great challenges may be solved by the very students who will grace these classrooms and labs. We are excited to be part of it. I have always appreciated and respected those who see a problem and immediately want to solve it. I know this building will solve problems by helping Rose-Hulman students learn the skills and tools they will need to solve the problems of the world, great and small.”

The donor is not an alumnus of Rose-Hulman, said Rose-Hulman spokesman Dale Long.

Terre Haute-based Garmong Construction Services will serve as the project manager for the building designed by Indianapolis-based RATIO Architects.

The building has been designed to support active student engagement through flexible and easily adaptable spaces for student projects and design studios, and breakout space for students and teams to collaborate on projects. The building will have a central atrium and lots of interior and exterior glass. 

Anne Houtman, Rose-Hulman’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the new structure “truly represents the future of education at Rose-Hulman,” with glass siding “to provide a window into active learning at Rose-Hulman and lots of natural lighting for activities within. The building will also have faculty innovation space and, on the third floor, new state-of-the-art chemistry labs.”

Jake Wagle, of Garmong Construction and a 2007 graduate of Rose-Hulman, said the new building is being designed and constructed with a “well building program, that focuses on the well being of occupants from both a mental and physical perspective,” Wagle said. “All of the materials in this building are selected and designed for the user experience.”

That includes higher water and air quality standards, natural light and green materials, Wagle said.

“The design of this new academic building reflects our focus on active engagement in learning within a collaborative, mentoring environment,” said Rose-Hulman President Jim Conwell. “This building will be a beautiful and transformative addition to our campus.”

The building will also give students access to a prototyping laboratory, laser-cutting devices, machine tools and a woodworking shop.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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