By Chaz Carroll
As the year has progressed, so has the new addition to campus. The Student Events and Activities Center, IU East’s fifth building, is projected to bring many new ideas and events that can bring the students and faculty of IU East together as a community.
The master plan was started about five years ago. The groundbreaking took place behind Springwood Hall on November 11, 2014. The center is made possible with the help of contributions from campus and the community, and the areas inside the center will be named for some of the largest contributors of the project. The names will be announced at a later time.
The limit that was set by the state for IU East to spend was $5 million. The project had been estimated at $4.7 million. This had to be approved by IU President Michael McRobbie.
The original plan’s bids came in over the alloted amount of the project. After moving the plans for the building location to a more level area instead of in the ravine behind Springwood Hall, the project cost was cut down, allowing the center to move forward. The local funding and support of faculty provided $1.7 million. The other $3 million had been provided by IU East reserves.
The estimated substantial completion date is sometime next summer. The actual use of the center is looking to be next fall.
With the funding figured out, what is to go on in the center? The main idea is for athletics to have a place to practice and participate. IU East has 11 men’s and women’s sports. The biggest addition is the gym, which will allow the volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams to host their own home games on campus rather than at Richmond High School’s Tiernan Center.
The gym will be able to host a maximum of 750 people. This will also allow some events that have taken place in the Vivian Auditorium to be held in the center in the future. Although the gym is the biggest portion, there will also be locker rooms, a classroom, and a lobby.
The single classroom will be dedicated to wellness and physical fitness. The room can hold activities like yoga and other physical programs. Groups like Campus Life can also hold their events there.
What will be done with the space from before that was in the Graf in Springwood? Student Government Association President Christopher Halberstadt said he hopes that the current athletic training facility will be used for academics or office space after the transition into the new space.
“Space is so limited on this campus that having ample practice space is counterproductive when we are at capacity for classrooms and faculty offices,” Halberstadt said.
According to IU East Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Jason Troutwine as far as the plans for the current facilities go, they are going to stay the same.
“The comparison of the facilities is night and day,” Troutwine said.
The Student Events and Activities Center should bring the community of IU East together as one and promote health and wellness.