Purdue board approves new airport terminal, residence hall
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Purdue board approves new airport terminal, residence hall

Aug 20, 2023

The Purdue University Board of Trustees made several big approvals during its meeting on Friday. Chief among them are the construction of a new terminal at the Purdue Airport as well as a nearly 900-bed residence hall on the West Lafayette campus.

The nearly $12 million airport terminal project will allow for an 8,000-square-foot building west of the existing terminal. The facility will feature a waiting area, baggage claim, ticketing, and passenger screening.

The university said the terminal will be built to comply with Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Rob Wynkoop, vice president of auxiliary services at Purdue, said the university has been actively exploring the return of commercial air service to the airport.

“The data shows that Purdue University and the Greater Lafayette community’s travel volume could support this service offering,” Wynkoop said in a news release. “We considered a number of possible terminal solutions, including a renovation of the existing building, and determined the construction of this new facility is the most cost-conscious approach that meets federal requirements.”

To make way for the new terminal, the existing airport hangar T-1 will be demolished, and new, short-term parking will be created.

The project is being funded with $7 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI, funds, $3.3 million in gift funds, and a $1.5 million federal grant.

The approval comes just two months after the board approved the $3.6 million rehabilitation of Runway 5/23 that will also include the relocation and reconstruction of a small connector taxiway and the removal of a second, unused taxiway. Work on that project is slated to begin next May.

New residence hall

The nearly $150 million residence hall will be located immediately south of Hillenbrand Residence Hall and will be known as Hillenbrand Residence Hall South.

The 252,525-square-foot building, Purdue said, is designed to help address an existing waitlist and increased demand for on-campus housing. It will also be a key location for The Data Mine, a living learning community where students learn data science competencies on-site and then apply such skills in corporate and research settings.

Additionally, the dining area in the existing Hillenbrand Residence Hall is set to be renovated and expanded from 500 to 800 seats to accommodate the new student residents.

Construction on the residence hall is slated to begin in March 2024 and be complete by June 2026.

Nursing and Pharmacy Education Building and additional rehabilitation projects

The board also gave approval to plan, finance and build a Nursing and Pharmacy Education building on the West Lafayette campus. The 186,000-square-foot building is expected to cost $160 million that will be funded with a mix of state, gift, and operating reserve dollars.

Purdue said the new building will support recent enrollment growth in its nursing and pharmacy programs.

“We are grateful for the generous support from the Indiana General Assembly and many donors to help make this important facility a reality,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said in written remarks. “Both nursing and pharmacy education, along with the overall life science and health capabilities at Purdue, will be substantially boosted.”

A series of repair and rehabilitation projects also received approval Friday:

Lastly, the board approved the construction of a 7,200-square-foot farm building at the Southeast Purdue Agricultural Center in Jennings County.

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