Butler University is pursuing plans to build state-of-the-art apartment-style residential housing for juniors, seniors, graduate students, and young alumni. University officials are addressing the need for current and future housing demand to accommodate the growing number of students who have declared a preference for modern, on-campus living arrangements as opposed to off-campus rental housing.
Butler is actively engaged with local developers and finalizing project details. The University expects to complete construction in phases, with the first phase set to open in summer 2026. The announcement comes on the heels of a housing survey that was sent to all current Butler students in fall 2023.
“Although students aren’t required to live on campus during their senior year, we consistently hear from many students and families expressing a desire to do so,” Frank E. Ross, III, Butler’s Vice President of Student Affairs, said. “There simply isn’t enough housing in the neighborhoods surrounding campus to accommodate everyone, and they are mostly older homes that don’t offer modern living amenities that students desire. We are designing housing for students who want the independence of apartment living but also want to have access to campus amenities and to remain part of our safe, vibrant campus community. Additionally, students will no longer need to commit to an off-campus housing lease years in advance.”
Ross said that students provided valuable feedback via the housing survey, identifying the amenities that are important to them. Butler is now working with its developers to ensure that those amenities are included in plans for the new facility. Plans include private bedrooms, spacious closets, open floorplans, and outdoor entertainment spaces like those found at premium apartments and will exceed the quality, safety, and experience of off-campus options. Butler’s ongoing efforts to elevate the student experience include nearly $100 million in recent investments in on-campus housing. The University just completed renovations to Residential College, a first-year student housing and dining facility; in 2018, the University opened Irvington House, a 647-bed residential facility designed primarily for first-year undergraduates; and in 2016, Butler opened Fairview House, a 633-bed facility predominantly housing sophomores. Combined with those investments, the additional housing plans, both on- and off-campus, will address the growth over the last decade and address future growth in undergraduate enrollment.
In addition to housing juniors, seniors and graduate students, Butler does plan to make a limited number of units in the new apartments available to young alumni. “Many of our graduates are beginning their careers in Indianapolis,” Ross said. “Living close to campus after graduation will be an attractive option for many of our young alumni, especially those who want access to campus amenities, events at Hinkle Fieldhouse and Clowes Hall, and easy commutes to work. We expect there will be great demand from alumni.”
When Butler University President James Danko first revealed his vision for the future of Butler’s campus during an April 2022 event celebrating the culmination of the highly successful Butler Beyond philanthropic campaign, it included several projects that would improve both campus infrastructure and the surrounding Midtown community. “Over the past several months, we’ve had productive discussions with the other neighborhood anchor institutions, potential funders, community partners, and a variety of interested stakeholders about the ways in which future development on Butler’s campus could also benefit the Midtown area,” Danko said. “Butler is going to continue to invest, and I think others are willing to join us in enhancing the Butler campus and surrounding community into one of the most desirable places in Indianapolis to live and visit.”