The Herald-Times

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:04 am | Updated: 12:17 am, Tue Apr 15, 2014.

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 |

On the heels of the decision to remain a stand-alone campus, plans at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington are moving forward for construction of a building addition and hiring a new chancellor.

The Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees on Thursday approved 13 construction contracts totaling about $14 million to add to the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building.

It was the last step before construction begins and a groundbreaking will be sometime in May, said Brad Thurmond, interim chancellor in Bloomington. He said the campus chancellor job has been posted for applicants.

The 83,680-square-foot, two-story addition includes classrooms, general purpose rooms, labs, a large lecture hall and new space for the library and student commons. Ivy Tech received $20 million from the state for the $24 million project.

Focusing on fundraising the last $4 million for the project as well as hiring a new chancellor were reasons Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder said Bloomington will remain a stand-alone campus.

“The president decided this would be best for the Bloomington campus,” Thurmond said. He said not restructuring will prevent confusion on campus and off.

A fundraising campaign is planned to start this summer, said Susie Graham, executive director for development. She said the start date has yet to be finalized and partly depends on the hiring of a new chancellor.

Ivy Tech’s last fundraising campaign was in 2006 and was for life sciences initiatives, scholarship support, the Center for Civic Engagement and land for the Indiana Center for Life Sciences. Graham said the goal of that campaign was $3 million, but was surpassed at $5.2 million.

“The bids came in under budget so at least we are starting under budget,” Thurmond said.

The new addition to the north end of the academic building is expected to be finished in fall 2015, and will open in January 2016, Thurmond said.

He said the 400-person lecture hall will open into a new student commons for even larger groups and events. Currently, the student commons is occupied by some temporary classroom space and students lose their study space if there is an event , Thurmond said.

With the new lecture hall, he said there will be more room for both. The addition also allows Ivy Tech to stop leasing space on Liberty Drive that has classrooms and offices, so all academics will be in one building.

“A big difference will be all being under one roof,” he said. “Students can just walk down the hall.”

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.