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As part of renovation, IMU Biddle Hotel donates furniture to Habitat for Humanity

Jan. 11, 2017

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County’s ReStore will soon be bursting at the seams with furniture donated from the IMU’s Biddle Hotel, which is in the midst of a significant renovation.

IMU Biddle Hotel room

One of the guest rooms at the IMU Biddle Hotel that has been outfitted with updated furnishings and decor. | PHOTO BY INDIANA UNIVERSITY

The hotel is refurbishing all 189 guest rooms, replacing wall coverings, carpet, lighting, drapes, furniture and other furnishings. The renovation, the most extensive for the hotel since 1994, is expected to be complete in April.

Associate IMU director Mike Campbell said he’d worked with a Habitat ReStore in a previous position with another hotel property and was impressed with the organization’s process. So when it came time to remove the old furniture in the Biddle Hotel’s rooms, which Campbell described as "a little dated, but still in good condition," he got in touch with the local chapter.

Bloomington’s ReStore was thrilled to receive the donation, which is its largest to date, according to regional Habitat marketing director Allison Hess.

Donated furnishings include bed frames, headboards, lighting, desks, credenzas, desk chairs, armoires, soft seating and microfridges. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, another local nonprofit organization, accepted the hotel’s mattresses. (It’s the only organization in town that accepts donated mattresses, which are given to people in need at no cost.)

The donation is so large that the moving process has been broken down into five sessions, each about two weeks apart. This also will keep the removal from disrupting the construction project, Campbell said.

Habitat has lined up volunteers to help with each move, including a donation of time from Bloomington-based Soft Touch Moving Co. This year’s first move is scheduled for Jan. 24 and 25.

In addition to renovated bathroom fixtures and finishes, the updated hotel rooms will feature new and more modern furnishings. The refurbished rooms will also feature a motif of quintessential campus elements. Mounted to the walls will be photos of landmarks that people who have walked the Bloomington campus can easily identify: the red clocks, bronze memorial statues and even the IMU itself as seen from the south end of the building.

The proceeds Habitat receives from selling the donated furniture will go toward building new houses for local families in need of shelter. There are plans to have an IMU volunteer Habitat build in the spring. 

"This has been a win-win for the IMU and Habitat for Humanity," Campbell said. "The IMU is part of the Bloomington community, and we are so happy that we have been able to give something back."

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