Purdue's Life & Health Sciences Park taking shape

Jun 18, 2012

The Purdue Board of Trustees is signing off on the construction contracts for three projects. Those are the cornerstone for the university's Life and Health Sciences Park along Harrison Street on the  south side of campus.

The university is building a drug discovery facility for $28.7 million. That’s more than the original estimate of $25 million.

Vice President for Physical Facilities Bob McMains says the increase is needed to finish more of the project than first planned.

"We have three different areas on that second floor that we were not going to finish out, so we're going to be able to finish that out. I believe that will help our researchers have more state-of-the-art equipment and, possibly, help us to recruit other faculty.”

The price will be covered by the sale of $20 million in bonds and the remainder from gifts or administrative funds.

The $38 million Lyles-Porter Hall will house the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing, other College of Health and Human Sciences research facilities, and the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette. A $16 million parking garage will go up next to it.

The sale of bonds will pay for 70% of the total cost of all three projects with gifts and administrative funds covering the rest. McMains says the high cost is due mostly to the mechanical equipment, but they plan to examine the procedures for such projects.

"You need to be redundant, because one thing we don't want to do is have something go down and lose 20 years of research or something like that. So, we're really risk-adverse. Well, some of that we want to look at to see if we're too risk-adverse.”

He says Purdue will compare the cost of its buildings with similar facilities at other universities, in and out of state.

Construction on all three projects is expected to begin next month.