Ivy Tech Community College

Madison campus
plans to complete expansion in 2007

By Angela Bornstein
Contributing Writer

(March 2006) – Ivy Tech has completed its first semester as a Community College and continues with plans of expanding its facilities at the Madison, Ind., campus. It has been eight years since the initial plans to expand were proposed.
Most recently, last October, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved the bonding authority for the funding and then the state budget committee approved the release of the funds.

Future Ivy Tech Building

Ivy Tech Community College expansion
will allow for new academic programs
and continuing education classes.

“We’re going through the drafting and construction design period right now,” said Executive Dean Don Heiderman. “We hope to break ground toward the end of April.”
He said construction is expected to take about 18 months. “That would put us at a tentative finish date of November 2007.” He said after the new building is constructed, it will be another six months of renovation of the new building.
“Right now the construction management team is in charge of finding a contractor,” Heiderman said.
The plans for the 80,000-square-foot building include new classrooms, faculty offices, computer and science labs, and a central hub, which will be connecting the old building and the two-story wings of the new facility.
“This renovation will bring everyone back into one connected building,” said Heiderman.
The central hub will have a business conference center up stairs and a downstairs lobby-lounge area.
“We want the students to feel as comfortable as possible while they’re here,” said Heiderman. The lobby will provide a study lounge and in-between classes break area and a communal area for student groups to meet while working on projects.
Heiderman said he wants to encourage students to stay on campus in between classes.
A new student life department at Ivy Tech is working on those aspects of the campus community. The new facility will have meeting rooms for student government and other student groups, and a wellness center with exercise equipment.
Another student and faculty benefit will be wireless Internet access.
The renovation goes beyond the main building. Ivy Tech will have an additional larger parking lot, an entrance from Franks Drive as well as extensive landscaping, which includes a retention pond for drainage.

Don Heiderman

Don Heiderman

“In the future, we’d like to invite some other community organizations, such as the Department of Workforce Development and the Chamber of Commerce, to build offices on our property,” Heiderman said. “We really can’t wait to get started.”
According to statement from Southeast Region Chancellor Jim Helms, Ivy Tech has been meeting the challenge put forth by the Indiana General Assembly to be a community college dedicated to providing skills and education for local business and industry needs and prospective growth as well as preparing students for four-year degree programs.
Ivy Tech became a community college last July, and its first semester began Aug. 22. Helms said the first semester has been a success, since academics programs are expanding and new classes, including liberal arts courses, are being added. “Student opportunities, such as the ability to transfer credits to Indiana University East and then attend Saturday classes at the Lawrenceburg Ivy Tech campus to earn a bachelor’s degree without having to leave the community, are growing,” said Helms.
Helms explained that community college status has improved Ivy Tech, which is pretty much the same only with more choices and challenges. In essence, a community college is specifically suited to meet the needs of its particular community, offering occupational, adult and general education courses along with transferable liberal arts courses.
“The transition to a community college has been an invaluable asset to providing educational services,” Heiderman said.
“Construction of a new facility while renovating the current building will let us add more academic programs, expand our abilities to custom-design courses for businesses and industries and give us the space to add academic and continuing education classes,” Heiderman said.
“More than ever, Ivy Tech will be the workforce provider and the trainer of existing work forces for businesses and industries. And now, Ivy Tech will be a vital benefit in attracting new businesses and industries. This is an exciting time for the college, the campus and for our community.”
Ivy Tech enrollment for the spring 2006 semester is at 70,869, which is 1 percent higher than last year, according to a statement from executive director Hank Bentz.
The Madison campus lists an enrollment increase of 8.3 percent over last spring with a head count of 1,856.
“More and more people continue to see the value of an Ivy Tech education,” said Ivy Tech President Gerald I. Lamkin.
“We are preparing individuals to enter the workforce and earn a good-paying job after graduation and others are transferring Ivy Tech credits to earn a bachelor’s degree and in the process saving money doing so. We expect to continue to grow as the state’s community college,” said Bentz.

Back to March 2006 Articles.



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