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Budget panel approves $63M for Ivy Tech projects

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Indiana's State Budget Committee approved $63 million in state funding Wednesday for expansions at three Ivy Tech campuses.

The panel signed off Wednesday on $20 million each for the college's Anderson and Bloomington campuses and $23 million for an expansion of its Indianapolis location. The money will pay for new buildings, classrooms, an auditorium and other improvements. The projects at Anderson and Bloomington are being supplemented with $4 million in donations each. The Indianapolis project is being supported with $4.6 million in donations.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley said the money supports Ivy Tech's "unique role" of delivering low-cost higher education to residents statewide.

"Because of that specialized focus, the institution faces certain challenges and has different needs than many of our other colleges and universities. This funding will allow Ivy Tech to meet some of these needs and give more students the opportunity to earn college degrees," said Kenley, R-Noblesville.

The new spending comes amid a push by state leaders to refocus jobs training with an eye toward vacant jobs across the state and growing enrollment at Ivy Tech. But the state's community college system has been hit with budget shortfalls recently. A $68 million deficit across the system has university leaders looking at closing 25 percent of its 72 locations across the state.

Gov. Mike Pence launched the Indiana Career Council this week with a series of appointments and is expected to announce who will serve on the state's regional works councils shortly. Pence and a bipartisan group of legislative leaders have said the state needs to train workers to fill a so-called skills gap that has left jobs unfilled even as unemployment remains high.

The state-approved funding will pay for a new building in Anderson, new offices, an auditorium and a wellness center in Bloomington and an expansion of the Indianapolis buildings to offer new programs.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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