By Rachel Bunn
331-4357 |

Hours after receiving word that a $24 million expansion was approved by the Indiana Legislature, Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington chancellor was already looking ahead for more expansion opportunities.

Chancellor John Whikehart presented a request to the Monroe County Redevelopment Commission Wednesday evening for $1.6 million to help finance the purchase and renovation of the Pain Real Estate building at the intersection of Daniel’s Way and Ind. 48, just west of Ivy Tech’s main academic building. The total amount needed for the project would be about $3.6 million, Whikehart said.

Ivy Tech’s growth has outpaced its population projections, which called for the Bloomington campus to have about 5,000 students this year. The 2013 population is about 6,800, Whikehart said. To help accommodate that growth, the college is leasing additional buildings for about $500,000 per year.

“I need to try to get out of leased space, if I can,” Whikehart said.

Members of the redevelopment commission did not vote on the item, but requested more information about the project and what the commission’s role would be.

Commission member Don Moore asked Whikehart if there is support for the project from other businesses in the Westside Tax Increment Financing District, where Ivy Tech is located. Since Ivy Tech does not pay property taxes, the money would be coming out of their pockets.

“I’d like to be sure that the tax contributors into this, that you have their support,” Moore said.

Don Duncan, another member of the commission, asked for a list of potential projects slated for the Westside TIF  to determine if there is enough money in the district to support the Ivy Tech proposal. Duncan said he isn’t necessarily for or against the project, but would like more information.

“I do think it’s an opportunity, and sometimes we have to be flexible to meet the opportunity,” he said. “I think we have to do our due diligence.”

This is not the first time Ivy Tech has asked for help from the redevelopment commission.

In 2006, the redevelopment commission issued a $5 million bond from the Westside TIF to help build the Indiana Center for Life Sciences.

Copyright: 2013

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.