Proposed new Hinds Career Center

This conceptual drawing shows the exterior of the proposed $8 million Hinds Career Center in Elwood on land donated by Red Gold.

ANDERSON – Although the proposed robotics program in Elwood was not included on the Madison County Council’s Tuesday agenda, the group is hoping to receive funding in August.

The Internal Revenue Service in June approved Elwood Robotics Technology Inc. as a not-for-profit.

In a letter to Kelly Gaskill, president of the Madison County Board of Commissioners, on Monday, attorney Michael Farrer requested the $1 million in economic development revenues from the wind farm project in northern Madison County be appropriated for the robotics training program at the Hinds Career Center.

Farrer said once the funds are received, the robotics program has arrangements with instructors, equipment, instruction materials and facilities to begin training students immediately.

The first class in the robotics training program is expected to start in the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year.

Once opened, the Elwood robotics training center will be the first of its kind in Indiana.

The Madison County commissioners in 2016 approved a resolution that they had to authorize any expenditures from the $1.3 million economic development fund from the Wildcat Wind Farm development.

When the wind farm account was created in 2011 by the commissioners, it was with the provision that the $1.3 million had to be used for economic development projects in northern Madison County.

The city of Alexandria has been awarded $300,000 for work on the industrial park.

Red Gold has pledged up to $500,000 for the construction of a new career center and also donated land at the intersection of Indiana 28 and Indiana 37 for it.

Elwood is hoping to use the $1 million as matching funds to obtain grants for the new skills trade training facility.

Hinds Career Center, which opened in 1968 at 1105 N. 19th St. in Elwood, was Indiana's first career center, according to its website. It serves seven school districts in Madison, Hamilton, Tipton and Grant counties.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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