VU’s Confucius Institute to move for new dorm
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent April 2, 2013 4:14PM
Updated: April 3, 2013 9:43AM
VALPARAISO -- Valparaiso University is moving buildings to make room for construction of a new dorm starting in August and September, southwest of LaPorte Avenue and University Drive.
The plan also heralds some changes in the residential area east of the university, across from Sturdy Road, which the university owns most of.
On Tuesday, VU presented plans at the city’s Site Review Committee to move the Confucius Institute from 1404 LaPorte to a vacant house at 756 Finch Court. The move will not require any permits from Valparaiso, city officials said at the meeting, and the university has already gotten the state permissions it requires, Fred Plant of VU said.
City Engineer Tim Burkman suggested a crosswalk so students can cross Sturdy safely, but Plant, the university’s Executive Director of Planning, said most of the students go by car and ride sharing.
The center, which is a joint effort between the university and the Chinese government to promote cultural exchange, serves Chinese students and residents interested in the culture.
The move is planned for May.
The university is working with the Chinese government to possibly rent the houses VU owns in the subdivision of bird-named streets, such as on Dove Court.
VU also plans to tear down the vacant houses on either side of the new temporary home of Confucius Institute, the one at the corner of Finch and Warbler Drive.
With a gravel drive, street parking and the houses gone, the institute should have more than necessary parking.
There is a chance the institute might find a new home in the quad building being built, but Plant said he couldn’t make any promises on where the program’s next home could be.
The university owns most of the land from Sturdy Road to Finch.
Plant said there are three lots left, and VU will try to buy them whenever they come up for sale.
He said the residential building -- the dormitory -- would be ready for students in 2014.