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Terre Haute Working To Create “College Town” Atmosphere

The federal building in Terre Haute.

A newly repurposed Federal Building at the corner of 7th and Cherry St. in downtown Terre Haute is serving as a new classroom for business students, as well as a bridge between the Indiana State University campus and the heart of the city.

ISU and the federal government spent more than $20 million to remodel the iconic 1930’s art-deco style building. Once home to the FBI and a Federal Courtroom, the new Scott College of Business now features 11 classrooms and offices for 50 faculty, administrators and staff.

City councilman Todd Nation represents the downtown district. He says the repurposing of the Federal Building is a testament to how much it is valued by the community.

“It is a building that is seen as important and symbolic and worth saving,” says Nation.  “I think that’s one of the main reasons it’s still standing today.”

Downtown business owners see the university’s investment as an opportunity to further promote the image of Terre Haute as a “college town.” Marla Flowers is the President of Downtown Terre Haute Inc., an organization that focuses on economic development.

“What an opportunity to impact these downtown merchants. I mean, if you think about it, it’s just steps away from Wabash Avenue. I think it’s just going to further strengthen the downtown area,” says Flowers.  “I think it’s an opportunity for further future growth – when they see all of these students that are so close to downtown.”

The remodeling of the Federal Building comes on the heels of the completion of a transportation center as well as the new Children’s Museum. The ISU Director for Business Engagement says the project is an important collaborative step the University is taking to reach beyond its traditional campus boundaries and engage the city of Terre Haute.

A public dedication ceremony for the Scott College of Business is scheduled September 7th.

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