University Place Conference Center and Hotel will soon undergo a transformation
April 27, 2012
- Rich Schneider
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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus leadership announced today that the University Place Conference Center and Hotel will soon be transformed into a multi-use facility that will meet critical needs of the campus – providing student housing, residential and campus dining and additional classroom space.
The conversion from the conference center and hotel to the multi-use facility will begin December 2012, with classrooms available for use in January 2013 and residential occupancy expected in the fall 2013. When completed, the facility will employ approximately 50 IU employees and contract workers.
The decision comes after nearly a yearlong study of the complex’s viability by campus and Indiana University officials.
Indiana University owns University Place Conference Center and Hotel and invested nearly $31 million in the property in 2005, including purchase and renovation. The 278-room hotel and conference center has operated at a loss for six out of the last seven years, due in large part to a weak economy. The hotel, which employs nearly 150 people, accumulated a $1.8 million deficit during the six years of operating losses.
“We are proud of the role the campus has played in fostering a thriving convention and tourism business in Central Indiana,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “But new uses of the facility have been identified that will better support critical campus needs and our goals of quality learning environments, student retention and graduation.”
The facility, located in the heart of the IUPUI campus at 850 W. Michigan St., will offer residential space for 560 students, IUPUI’s first student dining hall that will seat 470 simultaneously and 30,000 square feet of classroom space – all critical needs of the IUPUI campus community as expressed by faculty, staff, students and administrators. The facility will retain the existing Faculty Club and restaurant.
IUPUI’s current campus housing is at capacity with more than 200 students wait-listed. Several studies have shown that students living on campus have higher retention rates and grade point averages.
“While we move forward with this conversion that fits concisely within the campus master plan to maintain quality housing, research and teaching spaces, I want to thank FLIK and their staff for providing four star service to our visitors and guests over the years, most notably for their hosting of the Super Bowl XLVI AFC Championship team – the New England Patriots,” said Bantz.