Mitch Daniels University Senate

Purdue President Mitch Daniels talks future plans for the Armory.

University changes of all kinds were announced at Monday's University Senate meeting, including remodeling of the Union's basement retail space and repurposing of the Armory.

"The Armory is fabulous space in a fabulous location," Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said, "right at what's becoming the academic heart of campus."

Plans for what that space will become are not set in stone, he said, though some ideas include spaces for residential dining, retail or classrooms.

"We're making arrangements to accommodate, I think very effectively, the ROTC ... and the one other club that uses it," Daniels said.

The Córdova Recreational Sports Center and the Turf Recreation Exercise Center are both possible new homes for displaced users of the Armory.

Planning for the repurposing of the Armory will seek trustee approval in August 2019 and is slated to be completed by August 2020.

Daniels also mentioned new STEM buildings, including the 110,000 square foot STEM lab which is set to be open by fall 2019, and an engineering and polytechnic gateway building.

Purdue is seeking $73 million state funds and $35 million in University funds to replace the current veterinary teaching hospital.

"Of the 28 vet schools in the country, we have the distinction of oldest hospital," Daniels quipped.

The building is out of compliance on multiple regulations including those surrounding separation of species, according to Daniels.

"We have squeezed all the useful life and probably more (from the hospital building)," he said.

Plans to close down Third Street to vehicular traffic to create a greenway and specifics of the updates to the Purdue Memorial Union were also discussed.

Daniels said remodeling for the Union hotel will begin over the summer and the basement retail space will be updated in 2020.

The Senate also held an election for its new vice-chair. Deb Nichols, professor of human development and family studies, won the anonymous vote against David Sanders, professor of biological sciences.

Nichols' election speech focused on creating unity between the Senate and University administrators.

"Both sides must be willing to move into the space between us," Nichols said, "by recognizing that shared governance requires active participation and a recognition that the most important decisions we have to make are often those the most fraught with difficulty."

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