Ivy Tech to Open Campus in Avon

For Release April 23, 2010

                        Ivy Tech to open classroom site in Beechwood Centre

AVON, Ind. - A dream of Hendricks County officials will finally be realized this fall when a community college will open a satellite site in Avon. The Town of Avon has entered into an agreement with Ivy Tech Community College of Central Indiana to bring satellite classrooms to the Beechwood Centre. The college plans to start offering classes to area students this fall in the former Bedroom One store. The agreement developed through the collaborative efforts of the Avon Town Council, Redevelopment Commission, Hendricks College Network, the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership, the Avon Chamber of Commerce and Ivy Tech.

Avon Town Council President Greg Zusan said that working together with these groups  is exactly what Avon needed to make this opportunity happen.

"This will benefit all of the local businesses in the immediate area," Zusan said. "We are excited about the possibilities that this could bring to central Hendricks County."

"Opening a community college was one of the original goals of the Hendricks College Network back when it was still just the Post Secondary Education Task Force," said Hendricks College Network Executive Director Cathy Bastin. "Many of the businesses and individuals who come to Hendricks College Network for assistance in furthering their education choose Ivy Tech as their next step, and the convenience of having classes and training opportunities so close to home will undoubtedly increase the number participants making that choice."

Under the agreement, Ivy Tech will bring 12 classrooms to Avon and a computer lab. In return, Avon has offered incentives that will revitalize the vacant strip mall that used to house Gerdt Furniture, StarWalk Buffet, and Bedroom One. Avon is making an investment of $250,000 to assist renovating the 15-thousand-square-foot space into classrooms. In addition, the Avon Redevelopment Commission will provide training scholarships to residents of the Town of Avon or workforce training for businesses inside the Town who will attend Ivy Tech. $60,000 per year for the next three years, then the scholarship fund will drop to $30,000 a year.

"The Avon Redevelopment Commission has studied this project for months and has constructed a competitive package of incentives to bring the Ivy Tech Community College to the Avon," Avon Redevelopment Commission President T. Patrick Laughlin said. "We hope to see new jobs and new activity to the area, but in the long run this is workforce development that will bring new industry to our area."

Redevelopment commissions are responsible for managing tools and developing plans for underutilized areas. The Avon Redevelopment Commission collects the taxes from the economic development tax increment financing or TIF district which includes Beechwood Centre.

When Gerdt Furniture shut down earlier this year, the Avon Redevelopment Commission identified Beechwood Centre as an area that was in need of revitalization. The development has struggled since Cub Foods closed in 2001 with numerous shops opening and closing.

"This new venture strengthens our competitive advantage for new projects," Cinda Kelley, executive director of the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership said. "Access to talent and workforce development opportunities remains a critical component for our companies."

Avon and Ivy Tech signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the April 22 council meeting.

            Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder applauded Avon's investment, citing benefits to both partners.

 "For the College, the collaboration provides us with additional instructional space to serve a growing student

 population both in credit courses and workforce training," said Snyder, noting that from Fall 2008 to Fall

 2009, enrollment jumped 46 percent at the sites that will merge into the new Avon location.


            Dr. Kathleen Lee, interim Chancellor for Ivy Tech's Central Indiana Region, said an added advantage

 in consolidating sites that were at Avon High School, Hendricks County fairgrounds in Danville, and

 Ameriplex in Decatur Township, will be the ability to schedule additional day, evening, and weekend courses

 in the Fall and Spring semesters and during the Summer as well, which wasn't possible at all of the former




Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public post-secondary institution and the nation's largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 150,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


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