INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College’s Indianapolis campus has received a $3.8 million grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation which college officials are calling “transformational,” saying it will provide much-needed programming, student services, and parking space at its downtown campus.
The grant funds will be combined with $6.2 million in federal funding to construct a multi-modal facility in conjunction with IndyGo on the northeast corner of 27th and Illinois streets. In addition to an IndyGo hub, preliminary plans call for the facility to house amenities that will better serve the campus’ growing student population as well as residents of the surrounding neighborhood. Possibilities for the multi-modal facility include a coffee shop and convenience store, learning labs, admissions, testing and financial aid offices, expanded library and/or cafeteria services. A cross-functional college committee will determine final plans for the facility. In addition to the proposed street-level services, two to four levels of parking are expected to top the building. Groundbreaking for the project is set for this summer, with completion expected in Summer 2010.
“The foundation’s board of directors believes this investment in the continued development of the community college is an excellent fit with our emphasis on the vitality of Indianapolis and sustainable employment,” said Betsy Bikoff, vice president and chief grantmaking officer for the Fairbanks Foundation. “The foundation is pleased to support Ivy Tech in its efforts to grow the local workforce through responsive programs that give individuals options to move into solid employment or further their education through transfer to baccalaureate programs and beyond.”
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said, “This is an exciting first step towards building the educational corridor in downtown Indianapolis connecting IUPUI, Ivy Tech and The Children’s Museum and making educational opportunities more accessible to Indianapolis area residents.”
The $3.8 million award is the second grant to the college from the Fairbanks Foundation in the last five years. In 2003, the foundation contributed $3 million toward a capital campaign to expand programming in the health sciences at the region’s Lawrence campus.
“The Fairbanks Foundation has made a pivotal investment on behalf of students, current and prospective, at the community college’s flagship campus,” said Dr. Hank Dunn, chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana. “It’s an important step toward addressing the pressing need to make our downtown campus more accessible for the increasing number of individuals turning to Ivy Tech for life-changing educational and career opportunities.”
Named in December by Community College Week as the nation’s fastest growing community college campus for the second time in three years, the Central Indiana region of Ivy Tech continues to set enrollment records. This semester, headcount grew 12.9 percent from 15,491 on the first day of classes last spring to 17,496 this spring. Over the past 10 years, the number of students taking classes in the region has grown 114 percent.
The enrollment boom at the Central Indiana region has contributed to the overall growth of Ivy Tech Community College statewide, which this fall surpassed Indiana University to become the largest public post-secondary institution in the state.
“The collaboration among the Fairbanks Foundation, the federal government, IndyGo and Ivy Tech will meet vital needs for both the community and the college,” said Ivy Tech Vice President of Development Joyce Rogers. “We hope to develop more of these innovative partnerships as we seek to provide additional funding for college programs in light of possible reduced funding and lower investment earnings. The Fairbanks Foundation grant has come at a pivotal time.”
With the addition of the multi-purpose facility, the college will increase accessibility of the downtown campus several fold.
“Students driving to school will benefit from improved parking. Others will be able to get to the campus by bus from neighborhoods all over the city and transfer to other key destinations via the new IndyGo hub. They will have access not only to parking and transportation, but also improved student services and amenities,” Dunn said.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 120,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.