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Purdue trustees make various approvals

(photo courtesy of Purdue University)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Purdue University Board of Trustees has granted various approvals for campus projects. They include approval of a $2.7 million Wildlife Area Animal Care Building, the naming of one of the Purdue Polytechnic High School campuses and two new degree programs.

Purdue says construction on the wildlife building is expected to start in April with completion planned in January 2022. The 4,750-square-foot facility will feature laboratory space and animal care rooms for learning and research. According to the university, it will increase the number of animal care rooms from four to six and will replace the existing Animal Care Facility in the Purdue Wildlife Area in West Lafayette.

“This new facility will meet the strict federal guidelines for animal care and will allow Purdue to remain competitive when applying for federal research funding,” said Michael Cline, senior vice president for administrative operations. “The cost of building a new facility is considered to be a better long-term value compared to the renovation of the current building, which would have required the construction of additional space, modifications to the building layout, and updates to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.”

In a separate announcement by President Mitch Daniels, the university’s flagship Purdue Polytechnic High School will honor Purdue alumnus Edmund O. Schweitzer III and Beatriz Schweitzer for their $4 million commitment to support the educational and career success of underrepresented students.

The school will now be known as the Schweitzer Center at Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood.

The Schweitzers’ gift includes $2 million to provide need-based scholarship support for underrepresented students across the College of Engineering, College of Science and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Purdue says the additional $2 million will go toward Schweitzer Center staff to provide funding for part-time student mentors and full-time advising staff.

The university says there is now a charter network of three Polytechnic high schools in central and northern Indiana founded by Purdue. Following the first Indianapolis charter school in 2017, Purdue opened its second in Indianapolis’s Broad Ripple neighborhood in 2019. The third charter campus opened in South Bend this year.

In another action, the board approved a Bachelor of Science major in cybersecurity and a Bachelor of Science major in artificial intelligence, both on the IUPUI campus starting in fall 2021.

Purdue says the Bachelor of Science major in cybersecurity will focus on providing an undergraduate program that will address local industry needs with hands-on cybersecurity courses, many with lab components.

The Bachelor of Science major in artificial intelligence will feature a curriculum of artificial intelligence theory, methodologies and applications infused throughout the program. Purdue says the program targets students who are interested in robotics, autonomous systems, intelligent control and smart systems and devices.