Ivy Tech project granted $375,000 boost

Monday, October 29, 2007
A check totaling $375,000 is presented to Ivy Tech Community College, represented by Wabash Valley Region Chancellor Jeff Pittman (right), on Thursday during dedication ceremonies at Rokicki Park, future home of the college's new Greencastle campus. Making the presentation is Murray Pride, president of the Putnam County Community Foundation.

Supporters of Ivy Tech Community College's proposed new campus in Greencastle have 375,000 reasons to celebrate following a dedication ceremony at the construction site Monday morning.

Officials with the Putnam County Community Foundation presented Ivy Tech with grants totally $375,000 to be put toward the college's $1.9 million capital campaign, which will help pay for computers and other technology that will fill the building once it has been constructed.

The state legislature has promised $8 million to go toward the actual construction of the 30,000 to 32,000-square-foot education facility scheduled to be completed in January of 2010.

"This is an unprecedented gift to Ivy Tech from the community foundation," Ivy Tech Region 7 Chancellor Jeff Pittman told the crowd of city officials, business owners and community organization representatives who gathered at Rokicki Park, the site of the new campus. "We're all, at Ivy Tech, just so excited about this gift."

Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael thanked the community, city officials and organizations that have helped to support the college in its efforts so far.

"This community has worked so hard to make this a reality today," Michael said. "This is an exciting event."

But the mayor presented a challenge as well, calling on the community, as a whole, to support the project.

"Now we've got to put some money in it," she said. "We've got to help that capital campaign."

Putnam County Community Foundation Executive Director Elaine Peck said the Ivy Tech grant represents the largest one of its kind to come out of the foundation to date.

"The community foundation sees the enormous benefit to the community provided by a larger Ivy Tech campus," Peck said. "Our citizens will benefit by having more post-secondary education opportunities close by. Our businesses and industry benefit by having a skilled work force, and our local retail will benefit by students and faculty traveling into the county from others areas in our region."

The foundation has specified that $200,000 of the total $375,000 grant will go for the building project outright, to be followed by $80,000 in matching grants to encourage local donations and support and finally, $95,000 in matching grants to help Ivy Tech secure an endowment for the future of the college.

Wrapped into Monday's dedication ceremony was the unveiling of a sign on the property which draws attention to the project. The sign includes a concept drawing of the proposed building and reads "Future home of Ivy Tech Community College at Rokicki Park."

The site, which the city originally obtained from the state for an industrial park, was named in honor of the late Mike Rokicki, a former resident of Greencastle. Rokicki's wife Phyllis attended the ceremony Monday where she received public thanks from the mayor.

"This is continuing on his legacy," Michael said. "He has always given of himself back to the community to make it what it is today."

Also on Monday, the mayor and Ivy Tech officials signed the necessary documents to officially deed the 30 acres needed for the project over to the college.

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