Ivy Tech Community College on Wednesday opened its new $14 million Automotive Technology Center, a 59,000-square-foot facility at 4751 Century Plaza in the city’s International Marketplace District.
It replaces a building the automotive center operated in for several years at 1331 E. Washington St. Indianapolis-based TWG Development plans to redevelop that facility.
Kathleen Lee, chancellor of Ivy Tech Central Indiana, said the new center is no larger than the old one, which served about 150 students, but will be more efficient. “In this new facility I believe we are going to be able to double that,” she said.
The Automotive Technology Center has 16 classrooms, nine labs, offices and state of the art facilities. It will give students hands-on and cognitive skills training needed to be an automotive technician.
Students that gain experience in the new facility could make more than $60,000 annually for their first job in the market, Lee said.
She said the previous location was landlocked.
“The old facility was pretty good inside but oftentimes people would drive by and not even know what it was,” she said. “So this facility both inside and out speaks to modern technology of the automotive industry.”
The Automotive Technology Center is part of $176 million in new establishments in the International Marketplace District.
The center was not funded by the state. Instead, Ivy Tech worked with partners, who were able to take advantage of New Markets Tax Credits. The program allows the credits to be exchanged for cash to finance high-impact projects in certain low-income or distressed areas. Investors use the credits to cut their federal tax liability, reducing the financial risk of the projects.
“We worked with the city and some other partners on the New Markets Tax Credit which helped make our funding possible, this building was philanthropically funded,” Lee said.
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To strengthen its relationship with the community around the new location, Ivy Tech has partnered with the nearby Global Village to offer general classes to the community.
“Any student or any potential student interested in pursuing certifications or education at Ivy Tech, will be able to walk into this building and have their needs addressed,” Lee said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled for 11 a.m. where Mayor Joe Hogsett and Lee were among the speakers.