Butler’s campus as it was from the view of a helicopter in 2004. One of the objectives of Butler 2020, the university’s strategic vision since 2010, included campus infrastructure. Photo courtesy of Butler University Marketing Communications © 2019.
FRANCIE WILSON | STAFF REPORTER | email@example.com
Butler University has experienced a number of changes across campus in the past 10 years, including the construction of new buildings and renovations in older buildings.
Below are the changes, renovations and improvements made to campus that has stood out since 2010. Not every change that occurred in the last decade is included in this article.
In August 2016, Fairview House opened as primarily a sophomore dormitory. The addition of Fairview brought more underclassmen housing to campus and a pod-style living space, different from other dorms.
Sally Childs-Helton, head of special collections, rare books, and university archives and professor on the library faculty, said it makes her sad that the construction of Fairview prevents drivers and pedestrians on Sunset Avenue from being able to see Irwin Library, which is located behind the new dorm.
“You have to literally be on the 46th Street loop headed back east before you can see this building, and it’s very sad because this is an architecturally significant building,” Childs-Helton said.
Soon after the addition of Fairview, the demolition of Schwitzer Hall began. Before it was torn down, Schwitzer was the oldest dormitory on campus.
The demolition of Schwitzer began in October 2016 and was finished by January 2017. After its demolition, Schwitzer was replaced by Irvington House, which officially housed students at the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Schwitzer Hall was a landmark on campus, and many students, faculty and staff were sad to see it go. Kennedy Douglas, a 2019 Butler graduate, lived in Schwitzer as a first-year.
“I liked the traditional sense of Schwitzer and what it kind of resembled for the campus,” Douglas said. “It was an all-girls dorm and it was made from the original limestone that the whole campus was made with.”
Childs-Helton said the stone was used in the construction of the new electrical station on the curve where West Hampton turns into Haughey Avenue, between the Sigma Nu and Alpha Phi houses, and in the wall behind Atherton Union.
She said she understands that Schwitzer Hall was demolished due to the amount it would have cost to update the building, but was sad that such a well-built building had to be removed from campus.
On Feb. 21, 2013, the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing and Visual Arts opened its doors. The Schrott Center provides a 450-seat location on campus for student and professional performances.
In June 2017, Butler purchased the Christian Theological Seminary and it was announced that the College of Education would be moving into the new location after it was renovated.
The renovations of Christian Theological Seminary, now referred to as South Campus, were completed in August 2018. College of Education classes started taking place there at the start of the 2018-19 academic year.
Construction for the new Andre B. Lacy Business building began in 2017, in what used to be the Irwin parking lot. Construction finished in Summer 2019 and the first classes were held at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
Since these recent renovations and additions, Butler officially broke ground on its newest project, a new science complex, in October 2019.
With so much expansion occurring in the past 10 years, many are concerned about the impact this has on the parking situation on campus. Even with the addition of the parking garage in the Fall of 2015, Butler has lost other parking on campus.
Childs-Helton said she hopes the university will consider adding another parking garage in the upcoming years.
“I think in spite of there being fewer students, some of the construction that has taken place on campus has taken up old parking spots,” Childs-Helton said. “So Schrott Center took half of Clowes parking lot, the parking garage took a big chunk of the Clowes parking lot. Then Lacy took library parking lot, Fairview House took an enormous amount of student parking that was between the library and Sunset.”
With a men’s basketball team appearance in the March Madness finals of 2010, Butler Athletics gained national recognition.
In 2010, the press box was renovated and bleachers in the Sellick Bowl, formerly called the Butler Bowl, were remodeled. Scott Bridge, a journalism lecturer and internship director for the College of Communication, worked at Butler in 2010.
“That press box, at one time, it was not air-conditioned so they would have the windows open, and in the fall there would be bees that would fly in the windows,” Bridge said. “I don’t know about the assistant coaches who were on a different floor, but the broadcast team had to fight off bees until it got colder.”
In 2013, $35 million renovations in Hinkle Fieldhouse and included improving locker rooms for athletes, a new weight room that took the location of the old swimming pool and the reduction of about 900 seats.
In Spring 2019, air conditioning was added to Hinkle Fieldhouse, as well as padding on the upper-level bleachers. The Efroymson Family Gym was also completely renovated during this project.
In October 2015, Butler announced the addition of a Division I women’s lacrosse team to its athletic roster, which became Butler’s 20th varsity sport.
In the past year alone, a number of changes have been made to dining on Butler’s campus, but Butler’s transition to Bon Appetit as a dining partner wasn’t the only change this decade.
In September 2012, the Atherton Union renovation was completed. This renovation included the addition of the Mongolian grill, more seating and a new pizza oven.
Since the addition of Bon Appetit, ResCo’s dining hall was renovated. Along with the renovation, three new dining options were added, including Butler Brew, the coffee shop in Lacy School of Business, the Nutrition Cafe in the HRC, and Plum Market, which replaced C-Club.