Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo selects Moake Park Group Inc. as the architects to renovate its oldest building into 21st century learning space.

CC0A0318The Main Building

Laura Lucas, assistant architect for research in the University Architect's Office, said the Fort Wayne-based firm was chosen from among five finalists for the job to upgrade the Main Building.

"They showed us what we could do for us, to transform underutilized spaces to the way higher education works today, and to prepare it for how it will work in the future," she said. "The classrooms will fit better for how we are teaching, and how we are going to teach, as opposed to how we used to teach."

Planners expect the project to be completed by fall 2015. Work should start this summer, Lucas said, adding that the biggest challenge is "keeping the building operational while transforming it."

While much of the $14 million project is upgrading infrastructure, such as the heating and cooling system, there will be visible changes to the Main Building, according to Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke.

"From the outside, we want it to represent the new direction of IU Kokomo, becoming a 21st century campus," she said. "This project ensures that the Main Building will support our continued growth, and prepare us to meet the needs of our students well into the future. We are excited to move forward."

Students will benefit from new, modern classrooms, suitable for the technology being used, and for collaborative learning and teaching. They also will enjoy new places to study and meet with classmates.

The Indiana General Assembly approved $14 million for the project in 2013. "We are appreciative of the efforts of our local legislators who supported this project and who continue to be strong advocates of our campus," said Sciame-Giesecke.

The work will be the first major renovations in nearly two decades for the building, which was built in 1965. It was the first building on the South Washington Street campus when IU Kokomo moved from the Seiberling Mansion.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.