Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced the construction of a new complex that would house new facilities for the College of Engineering and the Polytechnic Institute yesterday morning.

The finished product will be called the Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway Complex. It will consist of two buildings built on the site of the current Nuclear Engineering Building and Michael Golden Labs, with areas for instructional and project-based spaces, according to a Purdue press release.

With 64% of last year’s graduating class studying a STEM discipline, Daniels hopes this new facility will enable Purdue’s STEM programs to grow, he explained during the event.

“We will be doing more,” Daniels said. “Those percentages are going to go up. Our total numbers are going to go up and our contribution to the economic life of this state and places elsewhere.”

The project will cost $140 million in total, with $40 million coming from the Lilly Endowment, $60 million coming from the State of Indiana and $40 million coming from private donors. Both Daniels and Clay Robbins — the chairman, president and CEO of the Lilly Endowment — see this project advancing Indiana’s economic development.

“Although Lilly Endowment is proud of Purdue’s world class reputation and the fact that so many of (its) graduates are sought after by leading employers around the world, we would like to help raise the profile of the appealing jobs here in Indiana,” Robbins said. “Our Indiana businesses also need more of these well-educated professionals as they seek to compete with businesses all over the world.”

The gateway complex will also feature a program called the Hoosier Hot Corner, which will bring Indiana businesses closer to Purdue.

“Businesses from Indiana and elsewhere can collaborate with faculty researchers, hire students as interns and identify future full-time employees right here at home,” said Michaela Rumple, president of the Purdue Engineering Student Council.

Daniels also commended Gary Bertoline, dean of the Polytechnic Institute, and Mung Chiang, dean of the College of Engineering, for bringing the two institutions closer together.

“The two of them together have brought these colleges together in a way I just promise you would have been unthinkable just a few years ago,” Daniels said. “There was rivalry, there was lack of mutual respect, in some cases, certainly lack of communication. That’s all gone.”

The gateway complex will be built by Shiel Sexton, the same contractor responsible for The Hub and the Electrical Engineering building renovations. The buildings will cover 255,000 square feet and are scheduled to be completed by December 2022.

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