IUP bell tower old lettering

Indiana University of Pennsylvania is preparing to spend $90 million on construction of a new building along Oakland Avenue for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

As detailed in preliminary designs by the Pittsburgh architectural firm of Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff & Goettel at Thursday’s IUP Council of Trustees meeting, the building would cover more than 100,000 net square feet.

That includes 51,635 net square feet for laboratory and specialty uses and 16,207 for lab support.

It also would have a greenhouse and a planetarium, as well as an outdoor courtyard that could be used for classroom space.

The university plans to send the project out for bids by the end of 2019.

Completion is expected 30 months later, in the spring of 2022. The four-story building would replace Leonard, Walsh and Weyandt halls, with the Leonard and Walsh halls being demolished before the new building is erected, Weyandt afterward.

University officials are aiming for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design “silver” certification under standards set by the United States Green Building Council.

A portion of the cost would be covered by the Foundation for IUP, which would forward $9.4 million toward the fund for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics building.

Other funding will come from the Imagine Unlimited campaign to raise $75 million for IUP.

At the April 13 Celebration of Philanthropy, retired Exxon-Mobil Exploration Company CEO Tim Cejka, of Latrobe, and his wife, Deb, announced a $2 million pledge to help IUP make a required match of state Department of General Services funding for the building.

At the celebration, the Cejkas estimated that $12 million would be needed to outfit laboratories in the new building, and to provide equipment for those labs.

Both are IUP alumni, as are campaign co-chairman Bill Madia, of Montara, Calif., who wants to raise $20 million over the next three years; his wife, Audrey; and John and Char Kopchick, of Athens, Ohio, whose $23 million contribution to the cause was the largest single gift in IUP history.

In other business before the trustees Thursday, it was noted that new officers were elected in June to the IUP Alumni Association Board of Trustees, including President Tracy L. Settle (Class of 1980), Vice President John A. Simpson (1979), Secretary Michael J. Moyer (2004) and Treasurer Tonya Anthony-Hsiung (2000 bachelor’s degree, 2003 master’s degree).

During the committee sessions that preceded the full trustees’ meeting, IUP Vice President for University Advancement Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna said the Advancement Services unit of her department is now responsible for more than 191,000 constituent records, including more than 127,000 from living IUP alumni.

As reported by University Advancement Committee Chairman James C. Miller to his fellow trustees, the Advancement Services unit has processed more than 15,000 financial transactions, as well as thousands of other types of data entry, including prospect research.

Osseiran-Hanna said the Office of Alumni Relations has changed its name to the Office of Alumni and Friends, as it now works with retirees, parents, friends, organizations and students as well as alumni. She said the office staff engaged more than 3,500 alumni in person and more than 50,000 virtually.

Miller told the trustees that there are new initiatives involving alumni that are planned for the coming academic year, including the launch of regional advancement councils in New York, Punxsutawney, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Tampa, Houston and San Francisco.