"They come, so we build it," she said at Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony for the $8.6 million, 32,000 square foot Center for Workforce & Economic Development.
The new facility will be built on 27 acres of land (gifted to the college by the city of Greencastle) on Zinc Mill Road. It will open in the spring of 2010.
"At the end of October we were standing on this land talking about a hope and a promise," said Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray. "We are all indebted to the legislature for their hard work in bringing this campus to fruition."
Ivy Tech has offered classes in Greencastle since 1989. Currently, the college shares a facility with Area 30 Career Center.
"What we're doing here today is truly a golden opportunity and will surely increase in value," Lawson said.
Jeff Pittman, chancellor and vice provost for distance education at Ivy Tech, agreed.
"It's so great to finally be here," he said. "This is a great day of celebration, one we've been working toward since 1989."
Pittman said he looks forward to even more growth for the college.
"Each and every day I get up and I'm more excited about Ivy Tech than I was the day before," he said.
Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said now that the facility in Greencastle is becoming a reality, the challenge of getting students there should be the next focus.
"This is just the beginning of the effort," he said. "The challenge now is to make this (facility) a beacon of hope for this part of Indiana."
State Rep. Amos Thomas said he had no doubt students would be lining up to enroll at Ivy Tech's new campus.
"People are going to flock over to take advantage of this new facility," he said. "Not too many years from now, you'll be looking to expand it."
Sen. Richard Bray stressed the importance of education in relation to the global economy.
"The only way we can keep our high standard of living is by having a well-trained, educated, efficient workforce," he said. "And that is not just about teaching (college students) to read and write; it is also about teaching them the skills they will need to make a living. This is a step in that direction."
Rod Lasley of North Salem State Bank is heading up "Changing Lives … Building Futures," a $1.9 million capital campaign for the new campus.
"We're going to have a shell, but it's up to this community to make this facility what it should be," he said. "We're about 25 percent of the way there. I know we can do it … I've seen this community step up before."