COLUMBUS – Ivy Tech Community College will build a new main campus building in Columbus that will provide a modern learning environment to better serve students, employees, and employers in the four county service area that includes Bartholomew, Decatur, Jackson and Jennings counties.
The design of the new building will benefit from the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program, which will recommend architects for consideration and provide funds for the design portion of the College’s new campus building.
The $32 million, 80,000-square foot structure will be built at the Columbus Air Park behind the College’s current main campus building, Poling Hall. The new building will replace the aging Poling Hall with a facility that caters to modern technology, collaboration, academics, student learning, and the College’s advanced programs in high-demand, highly rewarding careers. Funding for the building was approved by the Indiana legislature as part of the State’s budget.
“A new campus facility will significantly improve the learning and collaborative environments for our students and employees,” Ivy Tech Columbus Chancellor Dr. Steven Combs said. “We are sincerely grateful to the members of the Indiana legislature for funding and to the Cummins Foundation for its generosity and assistance as we prepare for this pivotal milestone. We have a lot of planning to do, and we look forward to sharing and engaging our communities in this process.”
The new Ivy Tech Columbus building will represent the first building project sponsored by the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program since the design of the neighboring Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at the Columbus Air Park in 2009. The Ivy Tech Foundation will receive the Architecture Program grant from the Cummins Foundation.
“We truly appreciate this meaningful gift from the Cummins Foundation,” said Therese Copeland, Executive Director of Resource Management at Ivy Tech Columbus. “The Architecture Program will help us thoughtfully shape our campus as we serve our communities and our students.”
A team from the Cummins Foundation will generate a list of five architects for the College to consider. Ivy Tech Columbus plans to host a public charrette for its employees and community members in December where architects will share their designs for the campus.
Once the College selects an architect, the Cummins Foundation will provide funds for the design portion of the architect fees. An Indiana-based architect of record and contractor will manage the building project, and that selection is underway. Funding for the new Columbus building is included in the 2019-2021 Indiana state budget. The College anticipates breaking ground in 2020 and taking occupancy in 2022.
“Ivy Tech has earnestly served residents of Columbus and its surrounding communities for more than 50 years with invaluable educational pathways toward rewarding careers,” said Mary Chandler, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for Cummins Inc. and CEO of the Cummins Foundation. “We are delighted to support the College as they prepare to build for their future and contribute to the landscape of architectural excellence in Bartholomew County.”
The new campus building will be developed as Ivy Tech Columbus expands programming and maintains strong student enrollment. The campus, which serves Bartholomew, Decatur, Jackson and Jennings counties, offers more than 30 programs as pathways to high-demand careers and an affordable foundation for a bachelor’s degree. It has community-based sites in Greensburg, North Vernon, Seymour and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.
“Ivy Tech’s strengths are the value, accessibility, and career-focused opportunities it offers residents of our communities who want to continue their education and advance their careers,” said Jesse Brand, Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees member. “The new campus building in Columbus designed with the support of the Cummins Foundation will enhance the College’s robust academic programs and set a solid foundation for the future of higher education in the Columbus area.”
The growing number of programs is possible due to steady enrollment. Ivy Tech Columbus grew by 4.3 percent from academic year 2017 to 2018 in new first-time, re-admitted students, transfer students, and guest students. The campus grew by 7.7 percent from fall term to fall term. The campus also has embraced a new eight-week semester schedule that allows Columbus to offer five enrollment periods, empowering students to start their futures as soon as possible. The College is enrolling now for October and January start dates.
“Students find incredible value in our outstanding programs, convenient locations, and affordability,” said Richard Beckort, chairman of the Ivy Tech Columbus Campus Board of Trustees said. “The steady enrollment indicates that communities deeply understand the importance of education and how it can lead to a better overall quality of life.”