Ivy Tech gifts Muncie Community Schools Cowan Road location

<p>A sign directs toward Ivy Tech Community College's Cowan Road location Dec. 10, 2019. Ivy Tech gifted Muncie Community Schools its South Instructional Building location on Cowan Road. <strong>Rohith Rao, DN</strong></p>

A sign directs toward Ivy Tech Community College's Cowan Road location Dec. 10, 2019. Ivy Tech gifted Muncie Community Schools its South Instructional Building location on Cowan Road. Rohith Rao, DN

Editor's Note: This story is part of The Partnership Project, a series of content written in an effort by The Daily News to follow the formal collaboration of Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools. Read more in this series here.

Muncie Community Schools (MCS) administration and the Muncie Area Career Center (MACC) will be housed in a new building in south Muncie next year.

Ivy Tech will be gifting its South Instructional Building on Cowan Road to MCS, said Ivy Tech Muncie’s Chancellor Jeffrey Scott at the MCS board meeting Tuesday held at North View Elementary School.

The move to the new location, Scott said, would allow for additional collaboration with MACC students and the college looks forward for additional partnerships on automation and advanced manufacturing classes.

“This is just another good partnership that we’ve developed in helping Muncie students understand that there are lucrative, high-pay, high-wage, high-demand career pathways,” Scott said.

With Ivy Tech’s $43-million new campus buildings project in its final stages, the community college determined that the best use of the vacant South Instructional Building was to gift it to MCS, according to an Ivy Tech press release.

“We’re essentially out of the south building now,” Scott said. “We’ll begin transitioning after the holiday break.”

Jim Williams, MCS board president, said the schools' administration offices and MACC will be looking to move to its new location in summer 2020. He said he will be touring the MACC on Thursday with two nonprofits who are potentially interested in occupying the location.

Deferred maintenance costs for the MACC, Williams said, is estimated to cost $5.7 million. By comparison, he said the new location would cost them practically nothing.

The Cowan Road location, which previously housed a telephone company, was purchased by Ivy Tech Foundation in 1973, the press release states. The 61,000-square-foot facility now has an updated roof, HVAC system, windows, science labs and additional upgrades.

Williams, in the press release, said the new location would enable MCS to offer more space for the MACC and make Ivy Tech’s labs more accessible to MCS students for dual credit and noncredit workforce certificates among other thing.

“This is a great opportunity for our students as we all work together to build a workforce pipeline for our local employers,” he said.

As of now, the press release states the details of the gift agreement between Ivy Tech and MCS are being formalized. It states the gift agreement provides that if MCS no longer utilizes the building, it will be reverted back to Ivy Tech.

“Ball State, Ivy Tech, Purdue Polytechnic, Muncie — we’re not in competition,” Scott said. “This is just all about collaboration, just to keep moving our community forward and just doing the right thing for the right reasons.”

Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann, in the press release, said the community college knew that it would be impactful to local communities when it started reorganizing a regional campus structure to a local community structure.

“Allowing the Muncie Community Schools to repurpose this building to improve education and career outcomes of their students aligns perfectly with our mission and the needs of the community and employers,” Ellspermann said.

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns, in the press release, said the Ivy Tech facility would benefit MCS students and thanked Ellspermann and Scott for the gift.

“This gift is an example of how Ball State, Ivy Tech, and members of our community share an unwavering commitment to Muncie children,” Mearns said. “We are all better together.”

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

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