SOUTH BEND — University officials, state legislators and members of the community gathered at Indiana University South Bend on Wednesday, April 17, to dedicate the newly completed Education and Arts Building and honor retiring Chancellor Uma Mae Reck, a driving force behind the project.
The new facility will house the School of Education, the fine arts programs of the Ernestine M. Raclin College of the Arts and the dental hygiene program of the College of Health Sciences.
Staff and equipment will move into the building over the summer and it will open for classes in the fall.
The building was originally the red brick Associates Building, which was used mostly for storage, officials said at the dedication.
Reck describe the building as an “ugly, red brick, flat, square eyesore.”
“I would walk by and it taunted me,” she said. “Today the taunting has ended.”
The $22-million renovation gutted the old building and gave it a facade of Indiana limestone and glass. The interior now includes rehearsal rooms, a 130-seat lecture hall, photography studio, painting and drawing studios, a video laboratory, faculty office, three 24-hour computer labs and a clinic and patient consultation area for the dental hygiene program.
IUSB Student Body President Hannah Dill said the 24-hour computer labs “have been a stated need for students for years.”
Reck, the first female chancellor at IUSB, leaves behind her a visible impression on the campus.
Her colleagues said Reck was instrumental in several IUSB projects, including the pedestrian foot bridge over the St. Joseph River, the addition of student housing to the campus, the IUSB Elkhart Center, renovations to the Administration Building, the Center for a Sustainable Future and the Civil Rights Heritage Center.
Indiana University President Michael McRobbie said IUSB’s enrollment increased by 20 percent during Reck’s 11-year tenure.
McRobbie presented Reck with the Presidential Medal for Excellence and, on behalf of Governor Mike Pence, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.