$1M Cook gift puts Ivy Tech halfway to goal for expansion

The Herald-Times

Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:14 am | Updated: 12:38 am, Wed Sep 10, 2014.

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 | mslaby@heraldt.com

The fundraising campaign for an expansion of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington already is halfway to its goal after a new, $1 million gift was announced at Tuesday’s kickoff event.

Carl Cook, CEO of Cook Group, presented a $1 million check to the campus leaders for the capital campaign.

“Everybody reaches a point in their life where they need a place to go,” Cook said. “Ivy Tech is a place for them to go so they can get somewhere else in their lives.”

The fundraiser has a goal of $4 million to finish an expansion to the academic building. It is already at $2 million between the Cook donation and a previous $1 million donation from the Fergusons.

In total, the nearly 90,000-square-foot expansion will cost $24 million, but $20 million was given to Ivy Tech from the state. The addition includes added classrooms and labs, as well as a 400-seat lecture hall, and will expand the Olcott Library, Hoosier Times Student Commons and Bloomingfoods Market and Cafe.

School officials also announced Tuesday that the expansion will permit the culinary, baking, pastry and hospitality classes to be a part of the main campus.

The move will bring the majority of Ivy Tech classrooms to the main campus, said Bloomington campus Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. It was announced as part of the campus’s “Here We Grow Again!” fundraising kickoff event on Tuesday.

Vaughan said previous plans for the expansion had a space with an undetermined use, but a meeting with the architects led to using that space for a cooking lab, baking lab and restaurant.

Although current students already have those facilities in leased space, the move to the main campus will make sure there will always be a permanent home for the culinary and hospitality program, Vaughan said.

“It’s another student area for success,” she said.

Plus, Vaughan said leasing less space will lead to savings for Ivy Tech. She said the community college will still lease some spaces, but those are mostly offices.

The restaurant, like the current one, will be open once a week to avoid heavy competition with the Bloomingfoods cafe on campus, Vaughan said. She said having a restaurant is important to students in the hospitality, culinary, baking and pastry programs.

“It helps students learn the front part of the house — those are essential skills,” Vaughan said.

And the chancellor said she is excited to make the new space a reality.

“It positions us to better respond to the needs of our students now and in the future,” she said.

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New northwest entry of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

 

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Courtesy photo

Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech chancellor.

Photo by Lisa Walker

 

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