Jake Bonifield’s [April 16] Forefront column is so factually deficient that our organization feels that a response is necessary.
Greencastle is experiencing exceptional growth. Existing factories are expanding and a new one is opening this summer. Construction of an expansive apartment complex across from the Ivy Tech Community College campus begins this summer. With a 400-plus acre nature park, miles of bike and walking trails, and the recent announcement of a splash park, our recreational opportunities continue to grow.
Plus, DePauw University now features Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performances as well as the Ubben Lecture series, which features distinguished speakers from all over the world. We are also closer than ever to air travel, as we are only 30 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport terminal.
In addition, Greencastle was recently named as one of two communities receiving the state’s first Stellar Community Grant, totaling over $19 million. As a result, the downtown will begin a complete renovation starting in June with new facades for more than 30 businesses. Investment has increased in the downtown, including the recent announcement of the Follett Bookstore featuring a Starbucks, upstairs apartments and meeting space. The grant is a prime example of the mayor, city attorney, the president of DePauw University and its cabinet, and other economic development groups working together to accomplish a goal that will benefit all of Greencastle.
Does this sound like a town on the verge of dying?
So what is happening now with the so-called failed business incubator? Project Ignition Initiative is transitioning into an incubator at Ivy Tech. Originally a Greencastle Chamber of Commerce initiative, many volunteers and business leaders continue to work as this project evolves. The leadership of Ivy Tech, the mayor, the former flower shop owner, economic development professionals and groups from DePauw University are all contributing to the momentum.
It is clear that Bonifield based his column on false research and his limited, six-month experience with GPI over two years ago. I hope he learns that a good idea is just the beginning. To truly accomplish anything worthwhile you must compromise and persevere through obstacles. Conflict resolution and respectful discussion are vital components of any forward-thinking project. Instantaneous success is rare and should not be expected. However, how one confronts adversity and how that person treats others along their challenging journey is what truly defines one’s character.
former president, Project Ignition Initiative, Greencastle