Ivy Tech Community College is set to start new construction at a former hospital site next to its downtown Indianapolis campus.
Ivy Tech officials and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard plan to be at a ground breaking ceremony Wednesday. Ivy Tech is tearing down parts of the former St. Vincent Hospital and is building a new $40 million classroom building.
The community college says it needs more classroom and lab space to handle its fast growth. More than 110,000 students are enrolled in Ivy Tech programs.
The former St. Vincent Hospital building dates to 1913. It was a hospital until 1974, and Ivy Tech has owned it since 2006.
Most recently, the building was a senior apartment complex known as Weyerbacher Terrace. The federal government shut it down
in 2003 and turned the property over to the city.
The state-run college bought the 5-acre property between Illinois Street and Capitol Avenue from the city for $1 in May 2006 in a deal that required preservation of most of the original hospital and adjoining chapel.
But Ivy Tech officials, citing prohibitive costs, last year asked the city for permission to demolish the building instead.
City planners and historic preservation groups pressured the college to rethink their approach, so Ivy Tech reversed course
and announced a deal for private developers to turn the building into student housing.
That deal never found financing, leading Ivy Tech to revisit the possibility of a new academic building.