The State Budget Committee has unanimously approved more than $37 million in funding for the first phase of renovations to the Hulman Center on the Indiana State University campus. The funding was authorized by the Indiana General Assembly in 2015 and approved last month by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. ISU says construction will begin after the 2017-2018 men’s and women’s basketball seasons are complete.
The funding will be used to modernize the 44-year-old venue, including updated electrical and mechanical infrastructure. Work will also include creating more accessibility for people with disabilities. The university says the renovations will "allow for an improved venue for the 21st century."
Indiana State says renovation work is expected to take 26 months to complete and limited activities will be held as the work continues. The project is expected to cost up to $50 million, with the remainder being funded through university gifts, cash reserves and borrowing.
"This project reinforces the partnership between public higher education and the state of Indiana to better position the Terre Haute community to attract visitors to the downtown area," said Diann McKee, senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer at Indiana State. "With construction set to begin next spring, this project will mean more local construction jobs, and we believe that the projected increase in activities inside this improved venue will lead to future economic development in the downtown corridor."
The project was originally part of a $75 million plan which included the addition of a convention center. However, ISU President Dan Bradley told Inside INdiana Business in August city and county partners were unable to "make it work financially."