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By Lindy Thackston

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 28, 2015) – The University of Indianapolis broke ground Thursday on a four-story apartment building, creating new housing for up to 480 students.

The site will feature 196 furnished units.

This will replace the 60-unit campus complex that dates to the 1950’s, as well as an adjacent row of aging duplexes.

“I think it’s very important,” said Kory Vitangeli, Vice President for Student Campus Affairs and Dean of Students. “Especially for retaining upper-class students on campus. It’s really important to have a balance of all kinds of students on campus, and upper-class students are demanding nice amenities. So it’s really important to also have those amenities on your campus where they can be a vital part of your campus community and having those upper-class role models is extremely important.”

The E-shaped building will have three wings pointing east toward campus with a courtyard and recreation area.

The school says it’ll be a positive visual change, but it will also bring new commercial development to the area.

“Shelby Street really is a connector from the south side campus, all the way to Garfield Park, Fountain Square into downtown,” said Vitangeli. “So to have this beautiful, visually appealing building will really be the entrance to the south side of our campus. So not only will it allow students to take advantage of the new transit opportunities, you know a Blue Car station will be going in down the street from the apartment complex. But it will really allow our community to see how our campus is enhancing this south side community.”

Construction should be finished by July 2016, in time for students to move in for the fall semester.

The project costs approximately $25 million.

This follows a new four-story Health Pavilion on Hanna Avenue.

That’s set to open in August as the new home for the university’s nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, gerontology, kinesiology, athletic training and social work programs.

Both projects are part of UIndy’s ongoing development plan that also includes a library renovation, expanded science labs and athletic facilities.