Apart from the COVID-19 response, the Ball State's Board of Trustees approved the scope and budget of the $59.9 million renovation and partial demolition of the Cooper Science Complex at it virtual meeting Friday.
Alan Finn, Ball State's vice president of business affairs and treasurer, said this project was initially funded through fee replacement bonds, but earlier this year was converted to a cash project.
During his March 19 COVID-19 response, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the state will not immediately move forward with using $300 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the recently concluded legislative session.
Instead, the government will maintain flexibility to utilize the funds as needed for relief efforts and to maintain current services, the governor's website states. The state will consider using bonding authority to move forward with the just-approved capital projects.
"Included in this resolution is flexibility depending on which way the government decides to go," Finn said.
Virtual meetings will be held starting next week with state officials regarding the possibilities of using bonding or cash for this project, he said. At this time, Finn said no changes are expected to the timeline of the project.
The project includes renovation of 161,000 square feet of Cooper Science and demolish 131,000 gross square feet, Finn said. Biology and chemistry departments will be moving to the Foundational Sciences Building and the departments for physics and astronomy, geography, geology and natural resources and environmental management will remain in Cooper.
He said the rough breakdown of the total cost is — $48 million for the renovation and demolition, design fees around $6 million and other expenses amounting to $5 million.
Finn provided the timeline of this project as it currently stands:
- Fall 2020: Work begins on Cooper Science Complex
- July 2021: Biology and chemistry departments will move to the Foundational Sciences Building
- April 2023: The renovation of Cooper Science will be complete
- June 2023: Move in to the renovated Cooper Science will commence
- December 2023: East end of Cooper Science will be demolished
The board's approval will now move to State Budget Committee which is expected to meet in May.