IU looking to defer $700M in maintenance

2013-03-10T23:00:00Z 2013-03-11T18:28:04Z IU looking to defer $700M in maintenanceCarmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

GARY | Indiana University has deferred more than $700 million in maintenance at its seven campuses -- including Indiana University Northwest in Gary.

When auxiliary buildings are added, the amount climbs to close to $1 billion in postponed maintenance, according to the vice president for capital planning for the university.

Deferred maintenance refers to the practice of postponing repairs or improvements on property.

The bulk of the work, about $480 million, is for the main campus in Bloomington, Tom Morrison said. About $20 million of the total is for deferred maintenance at IU Northwest.

IU Northwest has seven academic buildings which include Moraine Student Center (occupied in 1969); Raintree Hall (occupied in 1969); Hawthorn Hall (occupied in 1976); John W. Anderson Library Conference Center (occupied in 1979); Marram Hall (occupied in 1990); Savannah Center (occupied in 1999); and  Dunes Medical/Professional Building (occupied in two phases, in 2004 and 2006). 

Morrison said the university is increasingly worried about its regional campuses.

"Many of the campuses were built around the same time with buildings in the late 1960s and 1970s," he said. "Those buildings are coming due for renovation and rehabilitation."

An HVAC piping replacement project will be conducted this summer at Raintree Hall. In addition to the piping replacement work, the ceiling and lights located on the first floor of Raintree Hall will be replaced, university officials said. The cost of that work will be $368,000, which will come from the university's capital projects fund.

Morrison said the Gary campus does not have any code violations university officials are worried about, but there are still some issues regarding making the buildings more energy-efficient, and new roofs and new windows need to be added.

"We have a schedule for the next decade to do some renovation at the Gary campus," he said. "Some of that will depend on funding through the Indiana General Assembly. Our current request to the General Assembly includes some upgrades to Marram Hall. We also intend to make the buildings more accessible and that could mean adding more entrances, improving the sidewalks, which take a beating during the winter weather, improving the sprinkler system and fire alarm system.

"There are no immediate problems. We try to stay ahead and replace things before they fail," Morrison said.

The Indiana General Assembly also is considering funding for a new building to replace Tamarack Hall, which was destroyed by flood damage in September 2008. The building was demolished in January 2012. That site has been converted into green space.

The Trustees of Indiana University requested authorization to replace Tamarack Hall with a new 106,065-foot facility to be used by IU Northwest and Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.

"We had a request in for a new building and Ivy Tech had a request in for a new building," Morrison said. "It made sense for us to put our heads together and do it jointly."

Morrison said the cost of the new building is $45 million, $8 million less than the original estimate. The project will be funded through academic facilities/student fee bonds. The building will be located on the northeast corner of 35th and Broadway.

"The request for this building is in the budget bill and under consideration by the General Assembly this session," Morrison said. "It was included in a recommendation by the Commission for Higher Education, and we are encouraged. We hope it makes its way all the way through; so far, so good."

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