The Herald-Times

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 5:35 pm | Updated: 8:58 am, Wed Aug 27, 2014.

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 |

Fall semester class are starting. Construction has become a constant. And Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington is launching a new fundraiser.

The $4 million capital campaign goal is the remainder needed for the nearly 90,000-square-foot expansion to the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, said Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech Bloomington chancellor.

Vaughan said the Fergusons already have donated $1 million to the campaign, and $20 million in funding for the $24 million project was allocated to Ivy Tech from the state.

An official campaign kickoff event is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the main campus. After that is when the community should start noticing the “Here We Grow Again!” fundraising efforts to meet goal by May 2015, Vaughan said.

“We are excited about the additional space,” she said.

The current main campus building had a 5,000 student capacity – reached in fall 2007, when it was projected for 2011. Current enrollment is about 6,500, and Ivy Tech leases space on Liberty Drive that it will no longer need once the expansion is finished.

Vaughan said she’s confident the expansion will allow the enrollment to grow for some time, even as students from the now-leased space move to the main campus.

The library, computer labs, commons space and Bloomingfoods cafe will all grow by at least 50 percent, and the number of classrooms will go from 29 to 57, Vaughan said. She said construction – which began in May – is “right on schedule” for the expansion to be open in January 2016.

The campaign slogan comes from the last major fundraising campaign “Grow Ivy Tech” in 2006 to fund life sciences initiatives, scholarship support, the Center for Civic Engagement and land for the Indiana Center for Life Sciences. The goal of that campaign was $3 million and ended with $5.2 million, said Susie Graham, executive director for development.

This second campaign is proof that Ivy Tech is still growing, Vaughan said. Although students already stick around campus between classes, she said having more space will help make it a home.

“It’s proven when students connect to campus … they increase chances of success,” she said.

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.