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Ivy Tech moving forward with expansion planning

College no longer waiting on state funds to start design work

By Nicole Brooks

December 3, 2008

Ivy Tech can wait no longer to expand.

Administrators at the local community college were expecting to receive $350,000 in state money budgeted for Ivy Tech to hire an architect to do a design and engineering study for a much-needed expansion to the main Bloomington campus. But after about 18 months of waiting on the earmarked funds, Ivy Tech administrators have decided not to wait on the state to pay for the work.

Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder has released the money from the college’s operating budget, said Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart.

Ivy Tech used the $350,000 to enlist Schmidt Associates of Indianapolis to do a design study for an addition to the school’s main campus, a 140,000-square-foot building at 200 Daniels Way off West Ind. 48.

Schmidt Associates designed the Bloomington utilities service center, Whikehart noted. The group also designed Indiana University’s Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center.

Whikehart and others at Ivy Tech have met with architects three times, Whikehart said Tuesday, and are hashing out what kinds of classrooms and programs will occupy the roughly 85,000-square-foot addition.

The addition will be built on the north end of the main building, behind the student commons, and will absorb a portion of the land home to Picnic with the Pops — but not all, Whikehart said.

“We’re trying to preserve as much of the green space as possible.”

With record enrollment this fall, Ivy Tech has had to scramble for more space. Leased space at 1907 Liberty Drive has provided more classrooms, and the new Indiana Center for the Life Sciences under construction at the corner of Zenith Drive and Profile Parkway, set to hold classes in January, will also help ease crowding.

But administrators would like to keep students centrally located at the main campus — hence the construction project.

Whikehart said he is not certain what happens when the state budgetary committee finally releases the money appropriated for Ivy Tech.

“I don’t know what becomes of it,” he said, adding he assumes it will reimburse Snyder’s operating budget.

State legislators approved the design money in a session that ended in April 2007. The money was included in the state’s two-year budget, which can be released any time during the following two-year period.