Ivy Tech Community College celebrates grand opening of newest building

Indianapolis –Officials from Ivy Tech Community College, students and the community today celebrated the opening of the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center, the newest expansion to the Indianapolis Campus.

The building is on the site of the former Stouffer Hotel at 2820 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis.  Ivy Tech acquired the property in December 2010 with a $23 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and renovated the facility for classroom and conference space.  The Corporate College and Culinary Center opened in August 2012 and houses the region’s Corporate College, Hospitality Administration Program, and a conference center.   The building is also home to a student-run restaurant and bakery.

 “Our goal for this building was to create a center of learning, not just for our students, but also for the business community of Indianapolis.  With the help of our corporate partners and community business leaders, we have succeeded in building a facility, offering state-of-the-art technology and opportunities for learning not offered at any other educational facility in Indianapolis,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Central Indiana region

Serving as a bridge between the College and the community, the building provides Ivy Tech Corporate College additional space to increase the number and type of training and development solutions it provides to Indiana businesses.  Ivy Tech’s Corporate College provides industry-recognized certifications and customizable training to help the business community build and maintain a strong workforce, as well as bring economic strength to Central Indiana.  Corporate College focuses on the key industry clusters of healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology, construction/energy, hospitality, and transportation, distribution and logistics.

“A business can only be successful if their employees are provided the necessary training to be a contributing member of their team,” said Stephanie Taylor, Executive Director of Corporate College.  “It is our mission to strengthen our region’s workforce by enhancing their existing talents, as well as providing short term training for individuals re-entering the work place.  This new facility affords us the opportunity to do just that by allowing us to reach more Hoosiers in need of skill enhancement.  The ballroom and computer labs specifically give us the capability to educate the masses on a wide variety of topics, such as leadership and supervisory training, as well as team building.” 

The added space has allowed the Hospitality Program to double the number of students enrolled in the program.  The building more than doubles the size of the kitchen labs and culinary training space available for the college’s Hospitality Administration program.  The new facility offers 8 lab kitchens:  three culinary, three baking/pastry oriented and two working kitchens for the restaurant and café. The center also features a student operated bakery/café, Courses Bakery, and a fine-dining restaurant, Courses Restaurant.  Both the Courses Bakery and Courses Restaurant are open to the public.  Courses Bakery is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Courses Restaurant is open for lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6 – 7:30 p.m.  Reservations are required.  Email kparish3@ivytech.edu to make reservations.

The building also features a full-service conference center, which will open in January 2013.  The conference center offers more than 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 7,100 square foot room that can be utilized as a single space or divided into four smaller rooms and a 5,800 square foot all-purpose ballroom.  The conference center provides access to computer labs and a business center.  Each meeting space includes built-in projectors, a basic sound system, adjustable lighting and wireless access.  Reservations for the conference center will become available in December.

Enrollment at Ivy Tech’s Indianapolis campus has quadrupled over the past 10 years with fall 2012 semester enrollment of more than 22,000 students.  The Indianapolis campus has been named one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation by the Community College Week.  The new building is the second building to be added to the campus in the past year.  The Illinois Fall Creek Center, located on the site of the former St. Vincent Hotel, opened for classes in January. 

The Corporate College and Culinary Center is on the site of the former Van Camp mansion, which was demolished in 1965 to make room for the Stouffer Hotel.  The hotel quickly became one of the prominent locations for weddings, proms and other celebratory events in the city.  The hotel was also a favorite lodging site for local and national celebrities when they visited Indianapolis.  Legend has it that Elvis stayed on the 11th floor of the hotel in 1977 when he was performing in Indianapolis – a performance that would turn out to be his last live performance.  The hotel remained popular until the mid 1980’s.  The hotel closed in the late 1980’s and remained vacant until the early 1990’s, when it was purchased by Bill Gothard Ministries, who established the Indianapolis Training Center. 

To commemorate this historical building, the College has also created a web site and invites anyone with a story or memory of the building to visit and share their story.  Stories can be shared at ivytech.edu/stouffers.

ABOUT IVY TECH COMMUNITY COLLEGE:  Ivy Tech Community College 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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