INDIANAPOLIS — Students at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will have more options to live on campus next year after a campus hotel is converted into housing and classroom space.
Indiana University plans to convert the University Place Hotel and Conference Center into a multi-use building that includes dorms, classroom space and a dining hall in time for the 2013 fall semester.
The facility was built in 1987 but struggled over the years, losing money in six of the last seven years — including $1.9 million in 2011, The Herald-Times reported.
IU took over operations from the Doubletree hotel chain in 2005 and spent nearly $31 million on renovations and maintenance.
University officials decided to repurpose the facility after studying its viability and other needs of the urban campus for nearly a year.
"We are proud of the role the campus has played in fostering a thriving convention and tourism business in central Indiana," IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. "But new uses of the facility have been identified that will better support critical campus needs and our goals of quality learning environments, student retention and graduation."
IUPUI spokeswoman Margie Smith-Simmons said the hotel and conference center will cease operating in those roles on Nov. 30.
The renovations will convert single, king and queen bedrooms into double rooms, producing about 560 beds for students. That will increase the on-campus housing inventory, including apartments, to space for nearly 1,900 students.
IUPUI students have long clamored for more on-campus housing, especially for first-year students in their first year away from home. First-time, full-time incoming students will be eligible to stay in the new facility.
The university also will get its first student dining hall and 30,000 feet of classroom space as part of the renovations.
The classrooms are expected to be available for use in January 2013. Student rooms will be available for the fall 2013 semester.