VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University officially broke ground Oct.
23 on the site of the French Quarter property.
The French Quarter is a French-Creole-inspired complex designed to
meet the interests and needs of today’s college students. It will
offer apartment-style living that pays homage to the French heritage
of the area. The complex is designed to appeal to students of all ages
and be instrumental in recruiting more students to VU’s bachelor
“It will open up opportunities for Vincennes University students,” VU
President Chuck Johnson said. “Perhaps older students or bachelor’s
students or returning veterans or maybe students who have families and
need this type of option for housing. This may give them opportunities
to enjoy Vincennes University and take advantage of the great
education the University has to offer.”
The groundbreaking was a culmination of immense planning and hard
work. The project was spearheaded by longtime Vice President for
Financial Services and Government Relations Phil Rath. He led the
construction or renovation of nearly every building on VU’s campus
over the course of his career before passing away in July.
“It is a project that will have a tremendous impact on the University
for many years,” Johnson said. “It is a continuation of a lot of the
campus improvements and projects over the last several years. A lot of
the credit if not all of the credit goes to Phil Rath, and his
dedication and vision in making it happen.”
Apartments will primarily include three-bedroom units, each with a
private full bathroom, a shared living space, and a full kitchen.
Phase One of the project is bounded by First and Second streets and
from Hart Street to the railroad tracks. It will include 30 apartment
units with 92 total bedrooms, and the four buildings will be accented
with French Quarter style railings. Property amenities will include
bike storage rooms, second-floor balconies, a parking space for each
bedroom, a fountain, and open outdoor space. Phase One is slated for
completion by Fall 2020.
“This is a different option for our students,” said VU Director of
Facilities Andrew Young. “It is independent-style living. It’s one of
those things that students demand in this day and age. We still have
our traditional dorms, but this is a good option to move our housing
When completed, the complex will house nearly 200 students.
The French Quarter also will serve as a vital link to the community.
The First and Second street corridor is an important connection
between Vincennes University, the Wabash riverfront, and the Main
Street areas of Vincennes. The addition of the French Quarter will
encourage more pedestrian traffic along this historic avenue –
enriching the experience of VU students and those living and working
“This project brings together what Vincennes University is proud to
represent - community revitalization, economic development, and
student recruitment,” said Linda Waldroup, VU’s Vice President of
Financial Services. “As many have recognized today, Phil Rath
certainly was a visionary for this community. We now get to witness
his vision come to life. I commend VU's Architectural Services team
for their leadership and countless hours of dedication to moving this
project forward for our students and the community.”
The French Quarter was designed by RQAW – Vincennes Office. The
contractors are Wolfe Construction Co., Inc. and Kerns Excavating, Inc.
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges
statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.