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Growth spurs $15 million academic center at Indiana Tech

Applications lagging for new law school, however

Friday, February 8, 2013 - 8:44 am

With its $15 million law school still under construction, Indiana Tech is poised for another project of similar design and cost.

The school has asked the city Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals for permission to build a 60,000-square-foot academic building on its campus east of downtown between Washington and Jefferson boulevards. If approved next month, construction could begin in May with completion by late 2014, school spokeswoman Janet Schutte said.

“We've had all this growth, and we need more room for classrooms and faculty,” Schutte said. The building will be home to Indiana Tech's College of General Studies, which accounts for about 37 percent of its traditional enrollment of 1,169 students. The facility would also contain labs for the Center for Criminal Sciences and School of Education and student study areas.

Indiana Tech's McMillen Library will move to the new building because of its up-to-date technology, Schutte added. A multi-purpose auditorium/theater, café and a rotunda with space for an art gallery are also planned.

Criminal sciences and education are two of Indiana Tech's fastest-growing areas, but “every student will have classes there,” Schutte said. "They are similar (in style). The intent is for the law school to be the 'crown jewel' of the west end of campus, while the academic center will be the 'crown jewel' of the east side."

Indiana Tech broke ground for its new law school in May and expects to open Indiana's fifth such school this fall. The Wall Street Journal last month, however, reported that the lack of jobs for new attorneys had significantly decreased law-school applications.

Andre D.P. Cummings, Indiana Tech's associate dean for academic affairs, told the Journal the school may have to scale back plans to enroll 100 students this fall.

“Are we where we'd like to be? Not yet,” he said.

Indiana Tech's total enrollment, including its College of Professional Studies locations and online classes, is about 6,000 students.