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Innovation Hall, IUPUI's newest classroom building, brings together three STEM powerhouses

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie, IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar, School of Science Dean Simon Rhodes and other leaders have broken ground on Innovation Hall, IUPUI's newest classroom building that will bring together three IUPUI STEM powerhouses.

Innovation Hall will be built at the southeast corner of Michigan and Blackford streets to meet the evolving teaching and research needs for programs in the Purdue School of Science, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and IU School of Informatics and Computing. Construction is expected to finish in August 2020.

"What makes IUPUI and the School of Science special is that here students get not only an outstanding classroom experience, but they can do real research and outreach for their entire university career," Rhodes said. "Innovation Hall will be a critical component in helping the School of Science continue its mission in discovering new knowledge and in educating the workforce of the future, especially for the State of Indiana."

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A rendering of Innovation Hall, a multidisciplinary research and classroom building. Rendering courtesy of the Office of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities

The much-needed research and instruction space will be constructed in a way that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and interaction and active learning, McRobbie said.

Innovation Hall is aptly named and located, Paydar said: "The campus is the perfect home for Innovation Hall because here at IUPUI, we are always innovating. I would venture to say that since the moment of our campus's founding 50 years ago, we have been built for innovation."

The co-location of the programs from the three schools creates the ideal environment for collaboration, Paydar added. "The variety of spaces promises to bring together people across disciplines."

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Ceremonial groundbreaking with Stephen Freeland, School of Science Advisory Board member and alumnus; Mathew Palakal, Senior Executive Associate Dean, School of Informatics and Computing; Simon Rhodes, Dean, School of Science; and David Russomanno, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology. Photo credit: Dustin Ryder

The first floor of the building will be home to three classrooms as well as an informal student lounge and seating area. The classrooms include a 215-seat tiered lecture hall, an 81-seat active learning space with movable chairs and tables, and a 125-seat active learning space where the faculty member is in the middle. Shaped like a football, that space has two tiers of seats that swivel to encourage collaboration.

The second and third floors will contain engineering and science labs as well as more learning spaces.

Innovation Hall will house the Center for Earth and Environmental Sciences whose education outreach Discovering the Science and Energy of the Environment takes hands-on science activities to Indiana elementary and middle school students.

The exterior will be clad in precast concrete and metal panel materials similar to the Campus Center and the James J. Fritts, DDS Clinical Care Center. A two-story glass curtain wall on the north side of the facility will create an open student study area facing Michigan Street, and stairwells at the main entries will also bring natural light indoors.

Story by Rich Schneider; contributions by Candace Gwaltney