ANDERSON — The city Redevelopment Commission passed a motion that will widen and improve roads near the site of a new Ivy Tech campus near Interstate 69 on Tuesday.
The projects, which will widen 60th Street near Main Street from 20 feet to 24 feet and round out road angles around the site, will cost the city roughly $1.8 million. The changes are designed to accommodate a nearly $20 million, 85,000-square-foot facility on 38 acres of land along the interstate highway. The new site is expected to be a state-of-the-art flagship campus for Anderson that will service about 1,900 students.
“This is a big step toward growing Ivy Tech here in Anderson, and we want to help them grow,” said Director of Corporate Sales and Economic Development Greg Winkler in a meeting with the commission on Tuesday night.
Projected traffic increases, left-turn convenience, necessity of road improvements and general safety were a few of the reasons cited by Winkler and Ivy Tech Chancellor Andy Bowne for the road enhancements.
During his presentation to the commission, Bowne said Indiana is ranked 40th in the country in secondary education attainment and 36th in median household income.
“Those numbers are correlated,” he said.
Part of bringing the state to par with the rest of the country in key areas, Bowne said, is retraining the populace to be better equipped for the more sophisticated manufacturing jobs of today. Winkler and the commissioners agreed, and the motion was passed unanimously.
The need for a new campus site has been debated since 2009, but delays and financial constraints have pushed the project back. According to Bowne, the next step, now that the Redevelopment Commission has approved the road improvements, is getting approval to build from the Board of Zoning Appeals in the fall.
Ideally, after approval, the school will take bids from contractors and award those jobs in early February 2014. Construction would then begin in March and the campus will begin classes in fall 2015.