Story by Tim Obermiller | Drone photography by Ben Yonker
When Ball State was founded in 1918, the campus had just one main structure (now the Bracken Administration Building) on 64 acres donated by the Ball brothers.
Today, that number has grown to 109 buildings on 780 acres, with further progress underway as the University brings new improvements to its physical campus in ways that foster collaboration, research, curricular innovation, and community.
James Lowe, associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Management, and his team direct architectural, engineering, construction, and operations for Ball State. However, he explained, “our faculty, staff, and students assist with the functional design of our buildings and we rely on their input for guidance.”
“They are the ones that know how best to teach and to learn, today and tomorrow,” he said. “We listen, we program, and we repeat what we heard back to the make sure we have it correct. The exterior and interior design then evolves; form then follows function.”
The University’s physical campus will continue to evolve, said Lowe, based on future needs and opportunities as reflected in current and future master and strategic plans that set Ball State’s destination toward a bright future.
The following pages offer updates—and some bird’s-eye views—to show how the campus continues to transform for the better in fulfilling Ball State’s mission, goals, and enduring values on behalf of its students.
Keeping With Traditions
With large grassy areas, towering trees, and majestic older buildings, the shady Quad south of the Fine Arts Building marks the original campus and will be preserved for future generations. That tradition is also being expressed in new buildings that maintain a style of architecture embracing our past. In addition, plans call for the creation of more green spaces, while the new buildings themselves are more open and transparent “to give a feeling that the inside and outside are one,” said James Lowe.