GREENCASTLE -- With enrollment at Ivy Tech's Greencastle campus higher than expected, city and school officials are already finding ways to allow for future expansion.
At a special meeting Tuesday night, the Greencastle Common Council voted 4-0 on the first reading of an ordinance to transfer 14.63 acres of Rokicki Park to Ivy Tech to allow for expansion.
Ivy Tech's 33,300-square-foot facility on Zinc Mill Road wasn't scheduled to open until this spring, but was finished ahead of schedule, and students have been enjoying its benefits since September.
"They are pretty much out of space," Mayor Sue Murray said of the college. "They know they would like to continue to offer more classes."
At this time, no specific plans are in place for future construction or expansion. However, Murray said Ivy Tech would like to secure the land so the option is open.
The sale of the land for $44,000 would expand on the 27 acres the college already owns at the site.
"We're really excited about this. Ivy Tech came to us to talk about this," said city attorney Laurie Hardwick.
The council's approval of the first reading is just one step in the process. The Greencastle Park Board has already given its approval.
"The benefit of having Ivy Tech in Greencastle definitely played in their decision," Greencastle parks and recreation director Rod Weinshenk said.
The ordinance will face a public hearing and a second reading at the common council's regular meeting on Feb. 10. Additionally, when Ivy Tech's trustees meet in late February, they must approve an identical resolution to the city's.
Before the vote, Murray assured councilors the land would retain the name Rokicki Parks, even in Ivy Tech's possession. The park is named for the late Mike Rokicki.
"I think it's a very great problem to have that they've achieved this level of attendance so quickly," councilor Mark Hammer said.