The Butler University Board of Trustees has approved the development of two new facilities—a state-of-the-art student-housing facility with approximately 600 modern, suite-style beds and a 1,038-space multi-use parking facility.
Construction of the five-story parking structure, which is anticipated to open in August 2015, will begin this fall. Construction of the student-housing facility is expected to begin in spring 2015 with completion in fall 2016.
The University has selected the existing Irwin Library parking lot along Sunset Avenue as the optimal site for the new student-housing facility, following detailed planning efforts in partnership with American Campus Communities (ACC) and input from a broad set of stakeholders.
“Advancing our educational mission through the development of superior campus amenities is a key component of Butler’s 2020 Vision to be an innovative leader in transformative student-centered learning,” Butler President James M. Danko said.
The new student-housing facility is just one component of a comprehensive effort to modernize and expand Butler’s campus housing facilities. The University and ACC will also be assessing existing residence facilities, including Schwitzer Hall, Ross Hall, and Residential College (ResCo). Completion of these audits will yield recommendations for future renovation or replacement of those facilities.
“Our partnership with ACC will allow us to address our entire campus housing infrastructure, providing an ideal residential experience for the next generation of Butler students,” said Benjamin Hunter, Chief of Staff to President Danko.
The parking facility will be built on an existing parking lot between Clowes Memorial Hall and Lake Road. The multi-use facility will include approximately 15,000-square-feet of commercial and office space on the ground level.
The parking facility will serve the needs of faculty, staff, and commuter students, as well as event parking demand for Hinkle Fieldhouse, Clowes Memorial Hall, and the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. The retail space is likely to house restaurants and businesses catering to both the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods.
“This new facility will be a great asset for Butler and its neighbors,” Hunter said. “There have been concerns about the availability of parking at Butler, especially during major events. This will go a long way toward mitigating those concerns and will enable future growth.”
The new multi-use parking facility has been in the planning phase for approximately 18 months. In addition to conducting a thorough parking analysis and gaining extensive input from campus stakeholders, the University consulted with the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association, Midtown Indianapolis, Inc., and the City of Indianapolis.
These exciting initiatives join ongoing efforts to develop and enhance the eastern border of Butler’s campus. The University and City of Indianapolis began work in April on the Sunset Avenue Streetscape initiative, which will improve community safety and way-finding, while beautifying the public gateways to campus. The initial phase of the Streetscape project will primarily involve Sunset Avenue north of Hampton Drive, including a major reconfiguration of the 49th Street curve.
“With the Sunset Avenue Streetscape improvements in full swing, a multi-use parking facility scheduled to open next year, and planning for new student housing underway, we are certainly beginning to see our exciting vision for Butler’s future come to life,” Danko said.