Ivy Tech consolidates sites, will create new learning center in Avon with $250,000 investment from town

Avon Redevelopment Commission also commits training dollars and student scholarships to Avon residents

INDIANAPOLIS – Officials from Ivy Tech Community College and the Town of Avon have agreed on the terms of a partnership that will allow the college to offer classes beginning this fall in space renovated with the assistance of local redevelopment funds.

Ivy Tech will consolidate instructional sites from three locations on Indianapolis’ west side into 15,000 square feet in the Beechwood Centre on U.S. 36 in Avon.

Under an agreement signed Thursday night by the College and the Avon Town Council, Avon will invest $250,000 to assist in turning the space at a former Bedroom One store into 12 classrooms and a computer lab. In addition, the Avon Redevelopment Commission will provide industry training dollars and student scholarships to Avon residents who attend classes at the new location in the amount of $60,000 per year for the first three years, and $30,000 a year for the next seven years.

Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder applauded Avon’s investment, citing benefits to both partners. “For the College, the collaboration provides us with additional instructional space to serve a growing student population both in credit courses and workforce training,” said Snyder, noting that from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009, enrollment jumped 46 percent at the sites that will merge into the new Avon location.

Dr. Kathleen Lee, interim Chancellor for Ivy Tech’s Central Indiana Region, said an added advantage in consolidating sites at Avon High School, Hendricks County fairgrounds in Danville, and Ameriplex in Decatur Township, will be the ability to schedule additional day, evening, and weekend courses in the Fall and Spring semesters and during the Summer as well, which wasn’t possible at all of the former sites.

For officials in Avon and Hendricks County, the partnership realizes a goal to establish a community college satellite easily accessible to local residents and workers. “Opening a community college was one of the original goals of the Hendricks College Network,” said Cathy Bastin, Network executive director. “Many of the businesses and individuals who come to HCN for assistance in furthering their education choose Ivy Tech as their next step, and the convenience of having classes and training opportunities so close to home will undoubtedly increase the number of participants making that choice.”

“The Avon Redevelopment Commission studied this project for months and constructed a competitive package of incentives to bring Ivy Tech to Avon,” said T. Patrick Laughlin, president of the redevelopment commission. “We hope to see new jobs and new activity in the area, but in the long run this is workforce development that will bring new industry to our area.”

Avon Town Council President Greg Zusan said that working together with the Hendricks College Network, Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership, the Avon Chamber of Commerce and the Redevelopment Commission is exactly what Avon needed to make this opportunity happen.

“This will benefit all of the local businesses in the immediate area,” Zusan said. “We are excited about the possibilities that this could bring to central Hendricks County.”

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 150,000 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.

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