Indiana University Northwest, together with Ivy Tech Community College, broke ground Thursday, June 18th, on a new Arts and Sciences Building to be constructed in Gary on the corner of Broadway and 35th Street. The three-story, 126,300-square-foot building will house multiple programs of both campuses, including IU Northwest fine and performing arts programs, Ivy Tech science programs, as well as shared classrooms and informal study spaces.
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“We really do look forward to the completion of this much-needed facility,” said Indiana University President, Michael A. McRobbie. “Today we break ground for a facility that will greatly enhance the essential sense of community here in Gary and one that will unite the students, faculty, and staff of two institutions in a common purpose. For more than four decades, the regional campuses of Indiana University have made vital contributions to the regions and the state of Indiana. Nowhere is this impact more greatly felt than here in Gary, in Northwest Indiana.”
For IU Northwest, a cornerstone of the building will be a 500-seat performing arts venue and a smaller “black box” theater. There is great anticipation surrounding the replacement of IU Northwest’s signature performance venue that was lost when Tamarack Hall was destroyed by flood waters in 2008, and ultimately demolished in 2012.
“The return of a large-scale auditorium will not only benefit IU Northwest, but the entire community as it will bring the arts front and center to the Gary community serving as an anchor for the city’s redevelopment plans,” said David Klamen, Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.
“This partnership facility will be central to student, campus, and community activity with its location adjacent to the IU Northwest campus, and just a few blocks from the Ivy Tech-Northwest campus,” said Indiana University Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe. “The Arts and Sciences Building will be a signature addition to our campus and the University Park neighborhood that will feature state-of-the-art teaching, learning, studio, laboratory and performance spaces for IU Northwest and Ivy Tech students who will occupy the building at different stages in their academic careers. The building will be an asset to the two institutions, the Gary community and the entire Northwest Indiana region.”
“This is a great day,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of the City of Gary. “I’m always drawn to talk about Indiana University Northwest and Ivy Tech. I don’t just talk about the bricks and mortar, though. I talk about the significance of the partnership we enjoy with Chancellor Lowe, Chancellor Coley and all of the faculty and staff who make a community partnership between these institutions come to life. This building is yet another opportunity to explore and to cultivate that partnership.”
Echoing those sentiments was Thomas G. Coley, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest and North Central Regions.
“Next to Commencement, there’s no better day than a day like today,” Coley said. “I’m feeling really good. We at Ivy Tech are excited about the educational opportunities created by this building. We’re bullish on Gary, and we’re bullish on the Northwest Indiana Region. Above all else it’s not about building space, it’s about the reflection of our mission.”
Bidding for the project opened in May 2015 and the building is anticipated to open in 2017.