From The Herald-Times
Posted: By Kat Carlton 812-331-4351 |

Ivy Tech’s $24 million expansion of its Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building in Bloomington has been named Cook Pavilion, officials announced at a dedication ceremony Tuesday evening.

“We’re here to celebrate the culmination of a successful capital campaign,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan.

Vaughan said the addition was named for the Cook Group, which has supported the community college with donations for more than 23 years. While $20 million for the project came from the state, the school has continued to fundraise the last $4 million through its capital campaign, “Here We Grow Again!” and has received more than $4.3 million to date. At the capital campaign kickoff event last September, CEO of Cook Group Carl Cook presented a $1 million check to campus leaders for the campaign. Of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s full-time employees, 87 percent participated in the campaign.

“This is a great beacon for the future of Indiana,” said Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder, who is retiring next year.

In 2007, the project’s first phase accommodated 5,000 students, which the school exceeded. It currently serves up to 6,500, some in two rented spaces on Liberty Drive.

“We’re finally all going to be under one roof,” said Vaughan. “The students who have had to drive back and forth between here and Liberty Drive haven’t been connected with us.”

When the final phase of expansion is completed, the school will be able to accommodate about 9,000 students and give up one of its rented spaces.

The 90,000 square-foot expansion, which was approved to accommodate growing numbers of students, began in May 2014 and adds to the already 145,000 square feet of the main campus.

Highlights of the new space include:

• Shreve Hall, the building’s first lecture hall of its kind, which will seat up to 400 people and can be converted into multiple classroom spaces;

• A new Bloomingfoods store with double the space of the previous Ivy Tech Bloomington location;

• A paramedic science room with mock ambulance, allowing for training on both analog and digital systems;

• A culinary space that will move from the old rented space, saving $300,000 a year immediately in leasing costs and $200,000 more in 2017;

• The Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Math and Sciences “makers space” for students to work together and develop creativity;

• An advanced automation robotics technology center, with a line similar to the drug-fill line at Cook Pharmica, to train people in using robots;

• A new fine arts area, which accommodates visual arts, dance classes, a music room and kinesiology.

Other highlights of the new addition include a new common area, classrooms, faculty area, advising and testing spaces and more.

The old Bloomingfoods room will be converted to a faculty and staff lounge. That space will be named for Jim Heinzen, who worked with Ivy Tech for more than 25 years and was most recently dean of the schools of business, education and public and social services. Heinzen died earlier this month as a result of pancreatic cancer. The Ivy Tech trustees also tearfully approved a resolution Tuesday to name Heinzen an Ivy Tech Bloomington dean and professor emeritus. Vaughan also said the rest of the academic year would be dedicated to Heinzen, whom board chairwoman Connie Ferguson described as “always a professional.”

The library, bookstore and new tutoring center have been open to students since last month. Students will begin using the classrooms and other new spaces on the first day of the next semester, Jan. 11. Vaughan said in addition to the culinary space, which should be completed sometime in the spring, there are just “a few little things here and there” to finish up before January.

At the regional board of trustees meeting, just before the dedication, Vaughan presented little tokens of appreciation to board members: squeezable stress hammers, which read, “Together we made it a smashing success, Cook Pavilion.” Vaughan said she did it in the tradition of former Chancellor John Whikehart, whom she honored at the dedication with a plaque.

The dedication included Ivy Tech’s annual Showcase of Chefs and Wine event, which was meant to honor and thank donors to the campus for their contributions.

Ivy Tech will host a Cook Pavilion community open house Saturday, Nov. 21, with tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to a news release from Ivy Tech, those interested should contact Tina Phelps at or 812-330-6001.


Cook and FergusonGayle Cook, left, and Connie Ferguson attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cook Pavilion at Ivy Tech. Jeremey Hogan | Herald-TimesWhikehart and VaughanIvy Tech Chancellor emeritus John Whikehart, left, and current chancellor Jennie Vaughan speak during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cook Pavilion at Ivy Tech in Bloomington. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-TimesCook PavilionCook Pavilion at Ivy Tech. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-TimesHeather CoxHeather Cox, who is studying baking in Ivy Tech’s culinary school prepares an hors d’oeuvre after the ribbon cutting ceremony 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.