MUNCIE, Ind. — Despite being the first Monday back from break, dozens of students streamed into a construction lot next to the upcoming Health Professions Building on Ball State University’s campus to leave their mark on the bones of the building.
Denise Seabert, associate dean for external affairs and community engagement in health science, waited outside for four hours Monday greeting students and handing out sharpies to help sign a large beam that will be used in the construction of the space.
“I just think it’s created some really positive energy,” Seabert said. “It’s a way for people to leave their mark.”
Ball State’s Facilities Planning and Management faculty along with the construction company at the site helped set up the beam on two concrete blocks and gave it a white coat of paint so signatures would show up better.
Seabert wasn’t sure initially how the turnout would be with colder weather and it being the Monday after the university’s spring break, but students and faculty both turned out in a steady stream throughout the afternoon.
By 2 p.m., each side of the beam had nearly 100 signatures each. Faculty members, students and even President Geoffrey Mearns signed the beam.
“It’s like Ball State can’t get rid of me now even if I graduate,” laughed Ball State freshman Izzy Wright. She said that whenever she returns to campus she would have a story about how her signature was hidden somewhere in the building.
Other students felt the same way, noting that they felt a little more connected to campus now.
Hundreds of students wrote messages, signed their graduation years and even took selfies with their signatures. Seabert knew that faculty had buy-in with the building, but was energized by the student support.
Benji Langfield, a graduate student in the department, saw signing the building as something bigger than just a neat thing.
“Ball State and Muncie have left a mark on me, and it’s time to return my mark,” Langfield said.
Seabert also saw the importance of building energy around the building because of what it can mean for the Muncie community. The five-story, 167,000-square-feet project will have community health clinics in addition to classrooms, laboratories, offices, a resource hub that benefit the community as well as the students learning there.
The college includes 20 or so clinics, laboratories and centers, some of which will serve the community, some of which will be federally funded research engines and some of which will be teaching labs.
Such facilities include an adult physical fitness center, a center for autism, the Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology, the Human Performance Lab and a speech language clinic.
“We are really hoping to make a difference in the Muncie community where we have some disparities with health care that need to be met,” Seabert said.
The $62.5 million project on the south side of Riverside Avenue just east of Martin Street has a completion date set for 2019.
Source: The (Muncie) Star Press, http://tspne.ws/2FvVw1E
Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com
This is an AP-Indiana Exchange story offered by The (Muncie) Star Press.