The Journal Gazette
Thursday, December 17, 2015 10:03 pm

$10 million for upgrades at IPFW get panel's OK

Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – The State Budget Committee on Thursday approved $10 million in deferred maintenance projects for IPFW’s campus.

The group of four lawmakers and the state budget director also heard a revenue forecast that was revised downward by about $175 million – or less than 1 percent. The reduction is about $40 million in fiscal year 2016 and $135 million in fiscal year 2017.

The cause for the drop is largely lagging sales tax collections.

"There is no way around it, Indiana’s economy is flat-lining," said Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage. "Forecasters are predicting what Hoosiers households already know: Incomes are stuck in a decade-long holding pattern."

An economist hired by the state said Indiana is in its 80th month of expansion and the average time between recessions is 60 months.

Republicans controlling the committee, however, didn’t express outward concern given the small percentage of change in a $31 billion budget.

The proposed spending plan is still balanced and the current surplus is about $2.1 billion.

The committee also approved projects for a number of state universities, including IPFW.

The campus will initiate numerous upgrades to Kettler Hall, including the creation of a handicap-accessible entrance to the lobby area and the expansion of elevators, renovation of the main lobby to create a centralized student services hub, replacement of the water piping to all plumbing fixtures in the building as well as some replacement of waste piping, expansion of fire protection and alarm systems, and renovations to classrooms including upgraded equipment and furnishing.

In addition to the upgrades at Kettler Hall, the IPFW campus will get upgrades and renovations to the Liberal Arts Building, Neff Hall and the Science Building. The total cost of all requests at the IPFW campus is $10 million.

It is being paid for by the state budget, which set aside money for regional campus repair and rehabilitation.

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