Purdue University announced plans today for a new $140 million STEM complex on the university's main campus in West Lafayette. The buildings will benefit students and businesses wanting to work with the university.
As demand continues to grow for workers in science, technology, engineering and math fields, university officials are building Purdue’s Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway Complex.
The two buildings will total 255,000 square feet, bringing the engineering and technology colleges together and preparing students for technical careers.
University officials say the campus has seen substantial increases in enrollment in STEM majors and potential students are being turned away. Senior Michaela Rumple is studying aerospace engineering and says she hopes the complex creates openings for more students.
"The College of Engineering and the Polytechnic Institute, they’re bursting at the seams right now,” Rumple says. “So it’s really exciting because the college is growing. More and more people are interested in studying things like this. So we want to offer that opportunity to everyone that wants it.”
Some of the features of the state-of-the-art facilities will include virtual labs and collaborative research space for businesses, faculty and students.
“This building will be constructed very specifically to attract businesses and accommodate them in recruiting our students, in accessing the research of our faculty, our students, as interns, even while they’re here,” says Purdue President Mitch Daniels.
The project will be funded by a $40 million Lilly Endowment grant, $60 million from the state of Indiana and private donations.
Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2022.
The Lilly Foundation also provides funding for Indiana Public Broadcasting News.