Julia M. Carson Learning Center opens at Ivy Tech Community College

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the official opening of the Julia M. Carson Learning Resource Center at its downtown Indianapolis campus today.  The building, located just east of Illinois Street between 27th and 28th Streets, was named after the late Congresswoman Julia Carson, who was influential in assisting Ivy Tech with obtaining the federal grant money to complete the facility. 

Representative André Carson attended the ceremony in his grandmother’s honor, who represented Indianapolis in Congress from 1997 until her death in 2007.

“As a person who was truly passionate about ensuring greater access to educational opportunities for people across this district, it was no surprise that Congresswoman Carson was such a strong supporter of this project from the very beginning,” said Congressman Carson. “Sharing that same passion, I am pleased to have continued advocating for the multimodal facility and witness its completion.”

The 229,000 square foot, four-story multimodal facility opened to students on January 10.  It houses the new campus library, tutoring services, a community room, and a 500-space parking garage.

The new 18,000 square foot library is more than triple the size of the previous library.  The additional space will allow the library to grow its collection to about 30,000 items and contains seating for 100 students, 77 computer stations and two group study rooms.  In addition, the learning center has seating for 72 students, 44 computers and two meeting rooms.  The community room provides seating for up to 40 people and will be used as a meeting space for nonprofit and community based groups in the area.

“Our campus has seen considerable growth the past few years, and the trend continued this spring semester as the Indianapolis campus enrolled more than 26,000 students.  The library, learning center and additional parking spaces have begun to alleviate some of the space constraints that our growth has created, while also providing our students with the opportunities and resources they need to achieve their educational goals,” said Ivy Tech-Central Indiana Chancellor Dr. Kaye Walter.  “We are so appreciative of our local, state and federal leaders who helped make this construction project possible.”

A combination of public and private funds was used to support construction of the facility including a $3.8 million contribution by The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.  Other partners who worked with Ivy Tech to fund and plan the project include Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Engaging Solutions.

The multimodal facility is the only parking facility at a public institution in Indiana that did not use college funds or student fees to fund the project.  The garage is also the only parking facility at a higher education institution in the state that does not charge students, staff or faculty to park.

Construction at the downtown Indianapolis campus is also on-going at the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital.  Classes are set to begin at this new space in January 2012.

The region serves over 32,000 students a year, making it the third largest undergraduate campus in the state, behind only Indiana University-Bloomington and Purdue University-West Lafayette.  This current term that region enrolled an all-time high of nearly 26,200 students.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students 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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