IBJNews

IU president plans aggressive building campaign

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie may be an academic, but his plans to launch an aggressive building campaign takes a page out of Warren Buffet’s playbook.

Investors, Buffet said, “should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

McRobbie, in spite of a damaged endowment and falling state funding, is launching a building campaign like IU hasn’t seen in 80 years.

In a speech Tuesday afternoon, McRobbie said IU is gunning to construct at least 12 buildings on its Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses. And it’s likely to be more, as IU tries to connect the IU School of Medicine with its partner Clarian Health and with a life sciences corridor northwest of downtown.

The university is counting on raising $1.1 billion in private funds for additional buildings at IUPUI, and is on pace to have more than half that amount by October.

“We are also moving rapidly to take advantage of the current construction trough to build new facilities at historically low costs,” McRobbie told the IU faculty in his annual State of the University speech. He hopes the building campaign makes IU more competitive against its peers when the recession ends.

McRobbie repeatedly invoked iconic IU President Herman B Wells, who pushed IU to build 10 buildings during the Great Depression. Those facilities, McRobbie said, are still the core of IU's main Bloomington campus.

McRobbie's reasoning is simple. Construction projects largely dried up in the fall of 2008. Construction firms kept busy in 2009 on existing projects. But now that those are drawing to a close, there’s little in the pipeline.

“There’s not a whole lot to build,” said Dennis Sutherland, senior vice president at Cripe Architects & Engineers in Indianapolis. For that reason, he added, “This a terrific time to be bidding projects.”

McRobbie said construction costs for major projects have fallen 24 percent in the past year.

Cuts to state funding and ever-rising benefits and energy costs are forcing IU to trim as much as $118 million, or 4 percent, from its budget. But it can borrow money for building projects by paying incredibly low interest on bonds.

Municipal bond rates for high-quality borrowers are as low as 3 percent on 10-year notes, according to data from Yahoo Finance. Some rates were twice that high roughly a year ago, when the credit crisis caused rates to spike for a time.

IU already is moving forward on three key buildings in Indianapolis:

-    The $20 million Glick Eye Institute, funded with money from Eugene and Marilyn Glick, will have nearly 68,000 square feet of research and classroom space. It will be located west of IU Hospital.

-    The IU Neurosciences building, at a cost of $53 million, will have 150,000 square feet of research space. It will be adjacent to a new neurosciences building planned by Clarian across West 16th Street from Methodist Hospital.

-    The IUPUI Science and Engineering Laboratory Building. Its $45 million first phase will construct 45,000 square feet of research and classroom space. Two adjacent phases are planned for a later time, to be located on the north side of New York street, across from the Herron School of Art.

IU has nine other buildings under construction or in planning. Five of those will be in Bloomington. The others will be on IU’s campuses in Gary, South Bend and New Albany.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • new IU buildings
    I'm surprised that there apparently are no plans for imporovements to the Dental School. It really needs to be replaced with a new building. It is the only dental school in the state and it looks like there has been no money spent on it or inside it since the 60's.
  • new Assembly Hall
    Does anyone know the status of a proposed new Assembly Hall?
  • IU
    FYI

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT