TERRE HAUTE - The Indiana State University Board of Trustees has approved plans to move forward with the first phase of renovations to the Hulman Center. The work, which could reach $50 million, includes upgrades to mechanical, electrical and safety systems.

The school says many of those systems in the center, built in 1973, are outdated. The work will be funded by $37.5 million approved by the Indiana General Assembly in 2015 and $12.5 million from university gifts, cash reserves and borrowing.

When the state funding was originally approved, the school intended for it to be matched locally and support a new conference center. The university says it now favors a "phased approach," with the second phase, including a conference center, coming at a later date. Senior Vice President and Treasurer Diann McKee says the change and approach came after "recognizing the fiscal constraints of the city and county governments."

The initial design work for the project is complete, although it will be adjusted to coincide with the phased approach. McKee says construction, which is expected to take two years, will be scheduled not to interfere with commencement or basketball season.

ISU President Dan Bradley says he still hopes to see phase two happen.