After 12 years, a $35.1 million funding request from Purdue University Northwest for a new Biosciences Innovation Building in Hammond has received approval from the General Assembly. It will house the campus’s biological sciences, nursing and other STEM-related fields of study. No official timeline has been finalized yet, but Chancellor Tom Keon says it could potentially be complete in 2020.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Keon says the facility will provide a big boost to the Lake County campus. "It will actually work toward rejuvenating the face of the campus," Keon says. "A decision was made to put it in a very prominent area of campus, so that as people are going through campus, one of the first things they’ll see is this building."
Keon says the new facility will support training for high-demand careers in the region. "Purdue Northwest nursing and biological sciences programs, which positively impact the number two economic generator in NW Indiana — health care — can raise their respective bars of educational excellence, via state-of-the-art laboratories and other instructional facilities," he said.
The project will be the first instructional facility built on the Hammond campus since the Classroom Office Building 20 years ago, a which Keon says is related to years of reduced spending by the state on facilities at Indiana college and university campuses. As a result of moving forward on the Biosciences Innovation Building, PNW will tear down the nearly 70-year-old Gyte Annex, which previously housed the College of Nursing and was originally built as a research and development facility for Inland Steel.
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