- Leeann Doerflein
- Officials including UIndy President Manuel, City-County Councilor Jefferson Shreve and Mayor Greg Ballard dig in at the groundbreaking.
Officials broke ground on the University of Indianapolis' four-story, $28-million health pavilion. The healthcare center will open in August 2015 and will give health sciences students in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, kinesiology, athletic training and social work a hands-on, collaborative learning experience and the opportunity to serve the surrounding community.
Everyone from Mayor Ballard to representatives from Senators Coats and Donnelly's offices came to show support for the new project. UIndy President Robert Manuel said the pavilion will be the first academic building in around 20 years. The building is a part of UIndy's five-year, $50 million development initiative dubbed, "The Five Year Plan," which includes the pavilion, expanding staffing to major programs and remodeling campus housing and the campus library as well as fielding women's and men's lacrosse teams.
- An artists rendering of the health pavilion.
Manuel said that the building is meant to be more than just another structure on campus, it is meant to be an anchor for the community. Gene Zink, CEO of Strategic Capital Partners, said that the development company worked with health sciences deans and members of the Manuel's cabinet to create a space that will work for the students and the community.
Manuel also announced a $250,000 gift from the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation and that UIndy has been selected to operate a Metropolitan Indianapolis/Central Indiana Area Health Education Center, which recruits and prepares healthcare professionals to work in underserved Indiana communities.
"UIndy is already a major provider of healthcare workers in the area, we provide more physical therapists, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists than any university in Indiana. And they stay in Indiana," Chair of UIndy's Board of Trustees Thomas Martin said. "UIndy is advancing Indiana's economy by expanding the high demand undergraduate and graduate programs in health related disciplines."
UIndy and the city have been building a tighter relationship in recent years with collaboration on the University Heights Neighborhood Service Area, the UIndy scholarship for fallen officer's children and spouses, Mayor Ballard's State of City address at the university and the $1 million block grant the has made the pavilion and improvements to the University Heights pocket park possible.
"We have built reputation and educational programming through our relationships," Manuel said. "[And] we have always been a university of and for Indianapolis."
District 29 State Representative Justin Moed said that Manuel has been instrumental in bringing the need for development and improvements on the Southside to the attention of the city and to partners in the area. He said that this is emblematic of Manuel's efforts.
"No longer are these just words on paper," Moed said. "The groundbreaking for the UIndy Health Pavilion symbolizes the beginning of action."
- Leeann Doerflein
- Jefferson Shreve speaks at the groundbreaking.
District 23 City-County Councilor Jefferson Shreve said he has also been working with the council to bring more attention to the need for developments so revitalize the Southside. He said that he is happy to see a victory in the University Heights column.
"We're here to celebrate some wins ..," Shreve said. "It's a win for this neighborhood, and this neighborhood hasn't had that many wins."