ANDERSON – After a year of effort, Anderson will become home to Indiana's first Purdue Polytechnic and Maker Space.

The Anderson Economic Development Commission and Anderson City Council both approved on Thursday the issuance of up to $15 million in bonds to cover the cost of construction.

Work on the 94,000-square-foot facility, which will be located north of the Ford AutoWorld dealership on Scatterfield Road, is expected to start in September and be completed in the fall or winter of 2016.

Attorney David Umpleby of Krieg DeVault LLP said the estimated cost of the project is $13 million but the resolution approving the bond issue is for a maximum of $15 million.

He said the project is expected to directly create 50 jobs and that number could grow significantly over time as activities at the facility increase.

The Economic Development Commission found the project would not adversely affect a similar facility in the city and recommended adoption of the sale of the bonds to the City Council.

“All the approvals required to close have been accomplished,” Umpleby said. “The bonds will be sold in August or September.”

Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said Purdue Polytechnic Anderson will lease 44,000 square feet and the remaining 50,000 square feet will be available for start-up companies.

The bonds will be repaid through a combination of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District funds and Community Revitalization Enhancement District (CREeD) revenues.

Winkler said the CREeD District is expected to generate $11,260,000 over the next 15 years and the remainder of the funding will be obtained through the TIF District.

Cory Sharp, director of the Purdue Polytechnic Anderson facility, said it’s hoped that up to 400 students will be enrolled over the next three to five years.

Several companies have expressed an interest in supporting the facility in the future, he said.

Sharp said students from Anderson High School, Anderson University and the Ivy Tech Community College will be welcome to use the facility.

Winkler said NTN Driveshaft, which plans to begin operations in Anderson by April 2017, pending City Council approval, has an interest in the Purdue facility.

“The Maker Space combined with Purdue makes this exciting,” Winkler said. “We want companies to grow and keep the jobs in Anderson.”

The facility is being built on a former brownfield site where the former General Motors Plant 3 was located.

EDC member David Markle said the commission is excited about the project and want it means to the future of Anderson.

Ownership of the Purdue facility and Maker Space will convert over to the Flagship Enterprise Center.

Once the ownership of the 11.6 acres is transferred from the Anderson Redevelopment Commission to the Flagship Enterprise Center and construction begins, the city’s direct involvement in the project will come to an end.

The city is not involved in the construction of the Purdue College of Technology.

Purdue University has signed a 15-year lease agreement for 50,000 square feet of the space. Purdue will pay utility costs, building upkeep and any possible property taxes on the facility.

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

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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.