Indiana University Northwest and Ivy Tech Community College have received permission from IU's trustees to build a shared facility in Gary. This building is a long-time coming.
The three-story, 133,500-square-foot building will be built on the northeast corner of Broadway and 35th Street, taking up most of a city block. It will house programs from both campuses, including IUN's fine and performing arts programs and Ivy Tech's science programs.
The building will have a 500-seat performing arts venue and a smaller black-box theater. Ivy Tech plans to develop a "one-stop shop" for enrollment and admission services.
About 20 percent of the building will house shared classrooms, focus and breakout spaces and informal study spaces.
That portion of the building is a key aspect to the vision for a shared facility. There will need to be some coordination for the most efficient, effective and fair use of those classrooms, of course, but Ivy Tech students who might be thinking of continuing their studies for a four-year degree will be exposed to IUN's programs and students through the shared building.
This facility has been on the drawing board for several years but was put on hold when the economy was worse. Last July, though, the Indiana State Budget Committee appropriated $45 million to IU for the facility. Now the design will be refined so bids can be received and work will commence.
The building is scheduled to open in 2017. It replaces Tamarack Hall, which was destroyed by flooding in 2008.
Erecting a shared facility is a smart move all around, because it not only will serve each school's needs, while saving money, but also will help ease Ivy Tech graduates' transition toward work on a four-year degree.