Smith says the city has been working behind the scenes to convince Ivy Tech officials that a downtown Anderson campus is a better alternative than the 60th Street location.
But Andy Bowne, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s East Central Region, sounded unconvinced in a Herald Bulletin article published Thursday. He noted that the statewide community college has made a practice of building campuses along interstates and that it would be difficult to make a change in plan with deadlines looming to get the campus open by 2015.
Smith is trying to do what’s best for the city of Anderson, particularly to energize the downtown. That’s his job. But he should push his agenda only so far, and he should recognize the value of growth on the outskirts of the city, as well as in the downtown area. The fact that his administration has basically brought the softball/baseball complex planned for a property off of I-69 to a standstill still sticks in the craw of many.
It would harm the community if the new campus project were delayed for several more years — or worse yet, if Ivy Tech decided to build in a different community instead.
In summary Mayor Kevin Smith has a great vision for changing the location of the proposed Anderson Ivy Tech campus to downtown -- but it's likely a pipe dream, and one that shouldn't be pursued so far that it threatens to kill the project.