From The Herald-Times
Posted: Editorial staff

Ivy Tech Community College has taken another big step forward with the dedication of Cook Pavilion, 90,000 square feet of new space that transforms a nice-but-crowded academic building into something special.

Named for the family and companies of Gayle, Bill and Carl Cook, what had been called simply Phase 2 of Bloomington’s 13-year-old Ivy Tech campus will provide students and faculty an enriched college experience in a number of ways. Cook Group has a long relationship with Ivy Tech and has funded a number of initiatives with monetary and in-kind gifts.

There’s the new area called Shreve Hall, named for local businessman and Ivy Tech supporter Jefferson Shreve, that is a large open space and stage unlike anything Ivy Tech had before this expansion. The hall can seat 400 or be reconfigured into two classrooms and a 100-seat hall.

The Joan Olcott Library has much more room than the previous library and includes study space for students. The new bookstore looks like one you would find on many traditional college and university campuses, instead of more like an afterthought. A new IU Credit Union Student Success Center has a mathematics lab and a writing lab where students can work together or with faculty members and mentors.

The Cook influence is apparent in an Advanced Automation Robotics Technology Center, which will have a robotic line similar to a drug-fill line at Cook Pharmica. Students will be able to train as they would at an existing life-sciences industrial facility. Duke Energy made a $50,000 contribution to help equip the center.

The new paramedic science room will have more space than the current one for a mock ambulance, used to train future paramedics on a variety of systems used to save lives.

The Culinary Arts program won’t move in fully quite yet, but when it does, it will save the college a half-million dollars a year in rental fees for spaces now occupied by culinary and hospitality students. It will bring a strong Ivy Tech program into facilities better equipped for teaching and learning.

There’s also a new “makers space” for students to create and collaborate, and for community partners to work with Ivy Tech students and faculty on turning ideas into prototypes, designs and more finished products.

There’s more, including for the sake of transparency, a relocated Hoosier Times Newspaper Group student commons area. These additions and enhancements illustrate that the new Cook Pavilion, along with the 145,000 square feet in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, are being used in ways that allow students to keep pace with 21st century employment opportunities while being prepared to continue on to a four-year degree if that’s what’s desired.

Ivy Tech Community College is moving forward in Bloomington, much to the benefit of this entire region.

Cook and Ferguson 2Gayle Cook, left, and Connie Ferguson attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cook Pavilion at Ivy Tech. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

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.