Funding for a multi-million dollar Ivy Tech campus in Greencastle received final approval from the Indiana State Budget Commission Monday, Mayor Sue Murray announced.
"As I've said before, I think it's some of the best economic development and educational news to emerge from our community in a long time," she told the BannerGraphic after returning from the Statehouse Monday afternoon.
Work is predicted to begin this spring on Ivy Tech's 32,000-square-foot education facility estimated to cost $8 million to construct. Officials are planning a groundbreaking ceremony this spring, but plans have not been announced yet.
The campus is slated to be built at the corner of Veteran's Memorial Highway and Zinc Mill Road, across from Greencastle Middle School.
"This new campus brings excitement and opportunity to the residents of Greencastle and the surrounding areas," said Sen. Connie Lawson. "Rep. Amos Thomas and I are pleased to see this project nearing the construction phase and we look forward to the benefits of having Ivy Tech College here in our community."
The funds for the construction were secured in the state budget that passed during the 2007 legislative session, however, in order for the money to be released for construction, the project had to be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the members of the State Budget Agency.
Mayor Murray said she felt like the project was well received by members of the Budget Commission on Monday.
Both Sen. Lawson and Rep. Thomas have worked with the various state groups since the funds were secured nearly a year ago.
"It's been a long road toward securing and obtaining the funds for this project," Thomas said. "I am so proud to have been a part of this process that will benefit our community both educationally and economically. Sen. Lawson was instrumental to this project's success, and in my joint efforts with her, I found her to be a kind and wise legislator who works tirelessly to represent the interests of our area. I am excited to witness the culmination of our efforts for Greencastle."
The 30-acre site on which the campus will sit was donated to Ivy Tech by the city last year.
Mayor Murray told the BannerGraphic Monday that the city is willing to undergo additional efforts toward the Ivy Tech project, including making improvements to Zinc Mill Road. This, she said, will help with increased traffic that is predicted for the area once the campus opens.