City officials get first look at Ivy Tech plans

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Concept drawing of how Ivy Tech's new, 30,000-square-foot education facility in Greencastle might look

Plans for Ivy Tech's new Greencastle campus cleared another hurdle Tuesday night with members of the Board of Zoning Appeals granting a special exception for the project.

The city, on behalf of the college, was requesting they be allowed to construct a trade/business school in an area that is zoned light industrial.

Mayor Nancy Michael reminded the board that the city acquired the property years ago to develop it into an industrial park.

The land, known as Rokicki Park, was never developed and the city has agreed to donate 27 acres of the property to Ivy Tech.

Board members agreed Tuesday that allowing the construction of the school in the industrial zone would not adversely affect surrounding properties, and would in fact enhance it due to it proximity across the street from Greencastle Middle School.

"This is a great opportunity for Putnam County and the region," Mayor Michael said.

Board members also discussed some of the details of the project, which have yet to be finalized.

The 30,000-square foot facility will serve approximately 1,000 students to start, but Ivy Tech officials are building it with enough room to grow.

City Planner Shannon Norman explained that the building will likely be built on the western side of the property, to avoid a 15-foot sanitary sewer easement that cuts across the property on one side.

Also, the college has agreed to avoid the northern portion of the property to avoid disturbing "wetlands" as defined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Mitigation of such lands can be quite costly and officials have decided to avoid the area as much as possible, Norman explained.

Another aspect of the project discussed Tuesday night is the entrance to Ivy Tech's new campus.

Norman said that because Ind. 240, which runs on the north side of the property, is a limited access highway, Ivy Tech would not be allowed to make any new entrances.

The property will be accessed only from Zinc Mill Road.

Talk of a stoplight at the Ind. 240/Zinc Mill Road intersection was discussed, but state officials (who would decide if a light is warranted) have not determined any corrective action is needed at this time.

Board members expressed some concern with traffic generated not only by the new campus, but by Greencastle Middle School across the street.

Now that the special exception has been approved, the actual design of the building and the development of the land will have to be approved by the city's technical review committee before construction can begin.

Ivy Tech officials hope to begin construction of the building next July.

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