Vincennes University (VU) in Indiana, US, has commenced the construction of a new $33.9m Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning within the VU campus. 

The start of construction was marked by a groundbreaking ceremony on 19 February.  

Construction of the new 72,000ft² centre is being funded by the State of Indiana. 

Designed to meet critical workforce needs in healthcare, the two-storey centre will nearly double the current health sciences centre’s footprint and is expected to become a hub of activity and learning.

The centre, which will be located at VU’s former Harrison Hall site on the Indianapolis Avenue, will serve as a hub, connecting students, faculty, staff, and visitors to a ‘vibrant’ campus.  

Planned to open between September and November 2025, the centre will offer various programmes, including surgical technology, physical therapist assistant, nursing, health information management, pharmacy technology, and funeral service education.  

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The Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning will also feature new classrooms, and simulation labs equipped with high-fidelity manikins and virtual reality simulators, as well as multidisciplinary health labs.  

It will also have breakout spaces, such as study and lounge areas and active learning spaces to promote collaborative and flexible learning across the campus, as well as other administrative, faculty, and staff offices.  

VU said that the design of the new centre incorporates environmentally friendly elements and aims to create a healthy and productive environment, with daylight strategies to ensure that the building gets natural light. 

VU president Dr Chuck Johnson said: “This monumental centre signifies the physical expansion of the Vincennes Campus and the boundless opportunities it offers for cutting-edge learning and one-of-a-kind experiences.  

“The centre will have profound and far-reaching impacts on the lives and careers of countless VU graduates and innumerable Hoosiers.”  

To deliver this project, VU has appointed Indianapolis-based company Gibraltar Design as the architect, Heinz Associates as the mechanical engineer, and Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve as the structural engineer.  

Kerns Excavating will handle the site construction while Empire Contractors will undertake general construction.  

Huntingburg Machine Works and Weyer Electric will perform mechanical and electrical construction, respectively.