Vincennes University moves forward on French Village project

The Historic Review Board approved the demolition of two additional houses.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 10:32 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 11:15 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - An empty lot is all that remains of what used to be a block of homes. Soon the empty lot will be home to roughly 200 students.

The historical review board approved Vincennes University's plan for the French Village.

Phil Rath with Vincennes University says, "Which means now we're ready to start building and we're pretty much done."

The review board also voted to tear down two more historic homes. One of those homes was 615 north first street.

Rath says, "We need the space. We need the density for the students. And it just is better if it was down."

That decision did not come without controversy.

Tommy Kleckner with Indiana Landmarks says, "VU seems an entity that could have, should have the opportunity to really take advantage of the ability to invest in these structures."

The university said it would take roughly $200,000 to fix the $30,000 home. Historic Review Board member Tim Trotter says he was disappointed the house could not be saved.

Trotter says, "Not that you're obligated to, I get that. But possibly a missed chance to be a hero for our property."

Tuesday night's vote is clearing the way for growth at Vincennes University.

Rath says, "We've got a lot of things to do. And we've already transformed the look down there. And when we get to the piggy bank and those buildings you'll be pretty much standing on Main Street and you can probably look all the way down VU's campus and see the Harrison home."

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