Lilly Endowment grants $40M toward creation of “Gateway” buildings for Polytechnic, Engineering

Purdue University announced on Tuesday (Sept. 10) that Lilly Endowment Inc. has given a $40 million grant to Purdue Research Foundation to help create Purdue’s Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway Complex. Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue, and Clay Robbins, chairman, president and CEO of Lilly Endowment, made the announcement at a news conference adjacent to the future location of the complex.

The Gateway Complex will include 255,000 square feet of space and have a total estimated cost $140 million, funded by $60 million from the state of Indiana and other private donations. The new buildings are being designed as an interdisciplinary hub with project-based instructional labs, design studios and other collaborative spaces. The complex will replace the Nuclear Engineering Building and Michael Golden Labs facilities.

Purdue Polytechnic’s college-wide adoption of a transformed approach to education that began in 2013 was a catalyst to the formation of the Gateway Complex project, said Daniels.



“The modernization of the Polytechnic Institute was, to me, superb,” Daniels said. “No one here should overlook or underestimate what an incredibly difficult thing that was.”

“Purdue has achieved significant impact through earlier grants to launch Discovery Park and enhance the College of Engineering and the Polytechnic Institute,” said Robbins. “The intellectual and entrepreneurial energy on campus is magnetic. We are pleased to help build on this momentum.”

Gary Bertoline, dean of Purdue Polytechnic, said that the College of Engineering and the Polytechnic have been working together more closely than ever before.



“I can’t overstate how important the collaboration between our two great colleges is,” said Bertoline. “That actually is a very unique attribute of Purdue University. By having these two colleges at a major research institution, it brings all kinds of advantages for both programs. Engineering students get exposure working with technologists and vice versa, and the same things goes for faculty and research.”

The complex will feature first-of-its-kind features for higher education, including the Hoosier Hot Corner, a physical “front door” to connect Indiana companies as they collaborate with faculty researchers, hire students and interns and identify future graduates for full-time positions.

“We think we are going to prepare graduates, especially in the manufacturing area, better than anyone in the nation if not the world,” said Bertoline.

Read additional coverage in this Purdue News article.

The initial rendering (subject to change) of the Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway project, to be constructed on the present sites of Nuclear Engineering and Michael Golden Laboratories. This view from Grant Street looks northwest, with the distant Purdue Bell Tower visible to the left.

Additional information:

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