Schrott Center construction continues

New residence hall, science building also possibilities for campus construction.

Butler University’s current and future construction plans may provide campus with a facelift.

The most notable recent change to Butler is the construction of the Howard L. Schrott Center, a new 450-seat theater adjacent to Clowes Memorial Hall.

Howard Schrott, Board of Trustees member and namesake of the center, said building it is important to him because the plans have been in the works since he was a student.

“Suddenly the drawings are becoming 3-D, and it’s been really exciting,” Schrott said. “I hope it’s been exciting for students too.”

Craig Hardee, Butler’s general construction maintenance manager, said the building is currently scheduled to open in January 2013 and will serve more than just fine arts students.

“It will be a nice venue for the visiting writer series, or lecture series, or when a college needs to get their folks all together,” Hardee said.

Hardee said the Schrott Center was not the only project Butler has been looking at taking on.

The 2010 Master plan outlined that the sciences and residence life were the top two priorities, Hardee said.

“Those two are still high priorities, and they need to be addressed,” he said.

Vice President for Finance Bruce Arick said Butler has recently shifted its priorities.

“We’re going to have to do something with parking before we do the other two (the sciences and residence life),” Arick said.

Gerald Carlson, director of maintenance services at Butler, said the change in priorities was the result of external pressure.

“It’s been brought to the forefront because the city of Indianapolis and the [Butler-Tarkington] neighborhood have asked us to add the additional parking before we build any new buildings,” Carlson said.

Carlson said President Jim Danko’s cabinet and Butler’s Board of Trustees will be meeting in May to discuss the potential parking structure, additional space for the sciences and the new residence hall.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Jay Howard said he believes a plan to remodel Hinkle Fieldhouse will be completed before additional space for the sciences is created.

“We’re currently in the midst of at least the silent phase of a campaign for Hinkle, and so the science building is sort of in line behind Hinkle,” Howard said. “The way these fundraising campaigns work is you have a silent phase where you raise money without publicly announcing it.”

The disappearance of the Ruth Lilly Science Library with the creation of a science building is a possibility that has been made public by The Collegian in the past.

Incoming Butler Dean of Libraries Julie Miller said she understood that no final decisions had been made and she would evaluate the situation once she arrives on campus.

“The library belongs to everyone, so everybody gets emotional at the thought of major changes,” Miller said. “I appreciate when people feel attached to the library and the library staff.”

Some Butler students may be living in a new residence hall in addition to studying in a new library in the future.

Arick said the proposed residence hall would be located north of Schwitzer Hall, and Carlson said the new hall would mirror Schwitzer and create a courtyard.

Hardee said he thought the new hall would include approximately 400 beds, of which 200 to 300 would be taken out of Ross Hall and Schwitzer so necessary renovations could be made.

“I think what it will do is relieve some of the pressure off the existing Ross and Schwitzer and open up some of the study space in those residence halls,” Carlson said.

Arick said he believes the new residence hall and science building could be built within five years.

“For those of us waiting in line, sooner is better,” Howard said.


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