ANDERSON, Ind. — After years of waiting, State Rep. Terri J. Austin (D-Anderson) announced today that Ivy Tech Community College has been authorized to proceed with construction of a new facility in Anderson.
According to a press release, Austin said members of the State Budget Committee gave final approval to the $24 million project during the group’s monthly business meeting today in Indianapolis.
The new 76,000-square foot facility will be built on nearly 40 acres of land – located on 60th Street near Interstate 69 – that was donated to the college by the city of Anderson.
“This new building will house programs from four of the College’s academic schools – Business, Technology, Public and Social Services, and Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Austin said. “It will include classroom lab space, faculty offices, a student lounge and a library.
“In short, we are talking about a full-service site that will allow for growth of degree programs, address current and projected shortages in space, and alleviate the college’s past reliance upon leased space,” she added.
With the new facility on line, Austin said the existing Ivy Tech buildings at Main and 53rd Streets will be turned over to the School of Health Sciences and allow for expansion of programs there.
“Consider that the existing campus was designed to accommodate 1,200 when it was opened back in 1990,” Austin said. “Thanks to the quality of programs offered there, as well as the efforts of a dedicated faculty in meeting the needs of a student population eager to pursue an affordable higher education, the current enrollment at Anderson is well over 2,600 students.
“New facilities will allow Ivy Tech to meet the needs of that expanded student population, and enable the college to proceed with additional programs and services that can help meet goals in areas like community workforce training and economic development,” she continued.
Ivy Tech officials have been planning for new construction at the Anderson site as far back as 2007, when the Indiana General Assembly gave them the authority to start preparing for it. In 2009, lawmakers approved bonding authority for the project.
“I know there have been times in recent years when it has seemed like this project was stuck in neutral and we couldn’t get the previous administration to give final approval for it,” Austin said.
“But persistence has paid off, and the benefits from today’s decision will pay off for many years to come,” the legislator concluded.
The Herald Bulletin will continue to update this story throughout the day.