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Ball State trustees approve initial phase of project that will replace LaFollette Complex

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Photo of LaFollette Complex courtesy of Google street view

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State University’s Board of Trustees approved the first phase of a new north residential neighborhood on Friday designed to enhance student life and create a new campus gateway.

The project will feature a five-story residence hall, a stand-alone dining facility, and the realignment of McKinley Avenue. The changes are part of the university’s master plan that calls for replacing LaFollette Complex, which is being demolished in sections over the next few years.

“We are creating a 21st century living-learning environment for our students,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “In the coming years, we will continue to add more facilities to ensure a welcoming new home for students and the educational resources they deserve.”

The new residence hall will accommodate about 500 students, primarily freshmen, and serve as the home of the STEM Living-Learning Community.

“These changes will complement the new health professions and science buildings on the campus’ eastern edge,” President Mearns said. “Our STEM students will have first-rate spaces to live and learn.”

McKinley Avenue will be realigned to better define the north entrance to campus. The project will enhance pedestrian and vehicular safety by eliminating some of the sight and speed issues at the current curve. The realigned McKinley Avenue will feature a roundabout, medians, a bus pullout, and a bus stop.

The stand-alone dining facility will incorporate eight micro-restaurants offering various food concepts.  The second story of the building will house administrative offices for Dining Services and Housing and Residence Life. These administrative units are currently housed in LaFollette and Carmichael Hall, which is also designated for demolition under the campus master plan.

University officials will now seek necessary state approvals to proceed with the project.

In his review of upcoming events, President Mearns announced the State Budget Committee will meet on campus Sept. 21-22.

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