INDIANAPOLIS – Officials from Ivy Tech Community College today broke ground on a new state-of-the-art classroom building, including a community gathering place, on the site of the former St. Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek Parkway.
The facade of the original St. Vincent Hospital has been preserved. The College has spent the last several months preparing the site for construction and carefully preserving the south facade and one set of interior rooms on both the east and west sides of the building, plus the grand entry staircase. All of these preserved elements will be incorporated into the new construction.
American Demolition Corporation has made a concerted effort to recycle parts of the original building, including 2,500 bricks to aid in the restoration of the south fa?ade, 250 tons of steel which will be recycled and may be able to be reused in the new construction, an old antennae tower which was donated to a local fire department to use as a mock-up tower for rescue training and vintage exterior lights which will be refurbished and re-installed after construction is completed.
“The transformation of this site is the most important step in our creation of an education corridor that starts with the Children’s Museum and moves down to IUPUI,” said Thomas J. Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College. “This is the single, largest project in Ivy Tech’s history and may prove to have the most impact. We are thankful for the investment the state has made in Ivy Tech, and we’re dedicated to making the return on that investment something this community will always remember.”
“Ivy Tech’s roots right here in Central Indiana and reach over minds of all ages makes this institution an undeniable partner in progress,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “We are here to show our support for the outstanding work, the commitment to education, the investment in community and the true belief in our efforts to build a brighter future for generations to come.”
Construction will now begin around the preserved facade to build out Phase 1 of the project which will include new construction of the first 3 floors totaling approximately 155,000 square feet of additional space. The first 3 floors will include 15 academic classrooms, four science labs, an open computer lab, a 250-seat cafeteria, study areas, faculty offices and student gathering spaces.
Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to be completed by December 2011 and classes will begin in the new space in January 2012. Phase 2 will include the construction of the 4th and 5th floors. A completion date has not yet been set on Phase 2 of construction.
Enrollment at Ivy Tech’s Indianapolis campus has quadrupled over the past 10 years with Spring 2010 semester enrollment of more than 25,000 students. The Indianapolis campus was also named the fastest growing community college in the nation in a report released by Community College Week in late 2008.
“This building could not have come at a more critical time,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, Interim Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Central Indiana Region. “We have experienced record breaking enrollment with each new semester and reached 25,000 students this Spring. This new building will allow the college to meet the educational needs of the growing number of students and businesses turning to the community college as their educational partner of choice.”
A space needs study conducted by Paulien & Associates in 2005-2006 projected that Ivy Tech’s greatest needs, in order to continue to provide its core programs and services, include: classroom spaces, scheduled teaching labs, open labs, and student support spaces (library, bookstore, food services, etc.), even to meet their current student population.
The architectural and cost study for reusing the former St. Vincent Hospital as classrooms concluded that although it is possible to renovate the entire building for instructional use, it was not the most cost effective or the most efficient use of the building.
Schmidt Architects is working on the building space plan as well as exterior design. Shiel Sexton will be the construction manager for the project.
The former St. Vincent Hospital building, located at Fall Creek Pkwy. North Dr. and Illinois St., was constructed beginning in 1909 and served as St. Vincent Hospital from 1913 to 1974. It was renovated in the mid 1970s into 296 housing units for the elderly, disabled and low-income individuals known as the Weyerbacher Terrace Apartments. It was closed in 2003 and taken over by the federal government. The City of Indianapolis acquired the property in 2004 and it was acquired by Ivy Tech Community College in 2006. The north wing of the building and adjacent structures, not original to the main structure, were removed in 2007.
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.