INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Ivy Tech Community College State Board of Trustees today approved a major capital improvement project at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, the statewide system’s second largest campus serving more than 19,000 students from Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties. The Board voted to issue up to $60 million in bonds to finance major renovations and improvements that will enable the Fort Wayne campus to provide state-of-the-art facilities that will train the region’s current and future workforce in a variety of professions, notably in nursing and health sciences.
“The Fort Wayne project has been a capital priority for the College for more than a decade, and we’re pleased to have found a path forward that will increase enrollment while better meeting the workforce training needs of northeastern Indiana,” said Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech President.
The Board is proud to move forward with this project, which is possible because of the strong financial position of the College.
– Andrew Wilson, Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees Chairman
The Fort Wayne project includes the construction of a new, 50,000 square-foot nursing and health sciences facility, which will help respond to the region’s workforce needs by providing a hospital-like environment for students pursuing careers in healthcare. The facility will allow Ivy Tech Fort Wayne to increase enrollment in the Schools of Health Sciences and Nursing by at least seven percent and increase completions of high-quality healthcare certificates, credentials and degrees by 20 percent after renovations are complete. The Campus currently serves 342 Associate Degree of Nursing students and 57 Practical Nursing students.
The project will also include the renovation and modernization of the Coliseum Campus, with a focus on increasing instructional lab space and reducing overall square footage and providing operational savings of over $600k.
“As Ivy Tech Fort Wayne continues to change the trajectory of our students’ lives, we must provide exceptional facilities with state-of-the art equipment where students can train for high-demand, high-wage jobs,” said Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, chancellor, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. “This project will allow our campus to provide a learning experience that mirrors what students will encounter in a modern industry setting while enhancing our support services. I can’t wait to see the transformative effect this project will have on our campus, our students, our region’s workforce and the state and local economies.”
In addition to the construction of the new nursing and health sciences facility, the Fort Wayne project will consolidate the campus’ footprint by unifying student enrollment and support services into a single facility. The project also calls for demolishing both Harshman and Carroll halls, which were constructed in 1965 as part of the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center. The project also calls for the streamlining of administrative office space to respond to the changing nature of the hybrid workforce while realizing significant operational efficiencies.
The capital improvement project supports Ivy Tech’s 2023-2025 strategic plan, Higher Education at the Speed of Life, which aims to increase annual completions across the statewide system to 50,000 high-quality, workforce- and community-aligned credentials by 2025.
The project must still undergo state review by the Commission for Higher Education and the State Budget Committee before the College can move forward with the project. The College hopes to break ground on the renovations in 2025.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.