When students arrived to start classes Monday, many entered the main campus building to begin their studies. Others, though, started classes in a leased building which shares a complex with a hair salon, a martial arts studio and an insurance company.
Ivy Tech leaders had hoped to start building an expansion of the main building on its north end, but since the state’s Commission For Higher Education has not signed the necessary paperwork, that space was used for parking Monday. Still, when the expansion is complete, university officials say it may not alleviate the need for a second Ivy Tech location in the city.
“Our expansion was 115,000 square feet and it’s been cut back to 80,000 square feet,” Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart said. “We’re in about 35,000 square feet of leased space, so it sort of demonstrates that even when this building is complete, we would probably still have need for leased space.”
Leasing that space is currently costing Ivy Tech a significant amount.
“We are in fact leasing as much classroom space on at two locations on Liberty Drive as we have in this building,” Whikehart said. “So we’re paying over $400,000 a year in leases to lease space that we desperately need.”
Whikehart said he does not expect to be given the go-ahead for construction before the beginning of 2012.