ROOM FOR GROWTH Ivy Tech expansion on schedule

The Herald Times
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 12:19 am
By Kat Carlton 812-331-4351 | kcarlton@heraldt.com

Less than a year and a half since breaking ground, construction workers have completed about 85 percent of a $24 million expansion of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building.

“We’ve got lots and lots of good things in the works,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan.

Officials broke ground on the 90,000-square-foot expansion last May, with hopes of completing the project by the end of 2015. Vaughan said they’re right on track, despite one roofing contractor going out of business about halfway through construction and heavy rains damaging some of the new drywall.

Some red brick from the old building’s exterior is still visible in a hallway of the new wing, which will house a Bloomingfoods, bookstore, library, common area, culinary space, classrooms, faculty area, 560 parking spaces and more.

The new common area will feature a large, open space with chairs and tables. Vaughan compared it to modern airport spaces.

Also part of the addition are a 400-seat lecture hall and official tutoring spaces, both of which the old building lacked. Vaughan said students began to outgrow the space in the thousands, and the new areas are essential for students and faculty to connect.

“When you’re connected to your campus, you’re going to do much better,” she said.

While $20 million for the project came from the state, the school is continuing to fundraise the last $4 million through its capital campaign, “Here We Grow Again!” and have raised about $3.9 million.

Vaughan said the construction is on track for students to move into the spaces completely by January, and select services such as the bookstore, library and tutoring center into the new space as early as October.

In 2007, the project’s first phase accommodated 5,000 students, which the school exceeded. It currently serves up to 6,500, some in two rented spaces on Liberty Drive. When the final phase of expansion is completed, the school will be able to accommodate about 9,000 students and give up one of its rented spaces.

The school will host an expansion open house on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is currently hosting group tours on a weekly basis.

By the numbers

The $24 million expansion to Ivy Tech Bloomington has involved:

  • 25 miles of electrical power wire
  • 30 miles of computer cable
  • 250,000 bricks
  • 15 tons of sandstone
  • 60 tons of limestone
  • 5,000 tons of concrete
  • 45,000 square feet of carpet

Chancellor

Ivy Tech Chancellor Jennie Vaughan gives a tour of the new area of Ivy Tech currently under construction. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Inside construction

Tyler Ballman installs duct work in the culinary, baking and restaurant area of a new section of Ivy Tech under construction.  Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

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