Millions for higher education pour into Muncie IN
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - More money for higher education translates into more jobs for skilled labor with another residence hall renovation at Ball State University.
And a popular food service program provided by Ivy Tech Community College will see growth from that same pipeline from the Indiana General Assembly.
The State Budget Committee approved $35.7 million to pay for renovation of Johnson A Hall at BSU which is scheduled to begin by the end of the year and financed with housing revenue bonds.
It is the latest in a series of residential hall work including Studebaker East that did not open last month because of delays and now should be ready by January. And there's work finishing on DeHority besides a Woodworth Commons dining facility.
State Rep. Mike White, D-Muncie, said the work was part of a comprehensive plan to replace or renew all of the university's housing and dining facilities that serve a third of the student enrollment.
"The project reflects the university's desire to consistently improve its student facilities, many of which have been in operation for more than 40 years," said White.
The renovation includes the exterior of the two towers, Botsford and Swinford, and complete upgrade of the lighting, plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems. Upgrades will happen with living and social areas besides study and meeting rooms. The current one story entrance will be rebuilt with multi-story that provide more residential areas and administrative space with a secure entry and new elevators.
More than 450 students live in that residence complex and will be relocated during construction.
White also said Ivy Tech got $174,000 to extend a lease on space at the Patterson Building to serve the college's hospitality program. Increased student enrollment drove the need for more space that costs more money. The lawmaker was glad the budget committee acted quickly to serve higher education needs locally.