Gov. Mitch Daniels began by joking that his turning over some dirt to inaugurate construction of the WestGate Academy broke a resolution he made the last time he was at the WestGate facility.
“This business with the shovels and the ceremonial dirt – I said that’s been done like a million times. And you guys are demolition experts down there. I said so, if you really want some press coverage, let’s do something a little different. We’ll break some ground all right – I want one of those plunger dudes,” he said.
The governor moved on to talk about how Interstate 69 will run near WestGate and Crane and how, despite resistance from some in Monroe County, he sees the road acting as a further economic driver for the area.
“I-69, there are a lot of reasons to see that project through,” the governor said. “Listening to folks here, I came to understand and believe deeply that the future growth of this facility was one of the top such reasons. I’m just so pleased to see things coming together, both on that project – which we will see through. It’ll be here by  and in Bloomington whether they like it or not by 2014, I’m just telling you.”
WestGate Authority President Kent Parisien told the crowd of employees, state officials and local government leaders the project will build a new 64-thousand square foot facility into which the campus can expand.
“It will serve as an incubator to fire up local entrepreneurial businesses,” Parisien said. “It will serve as a catalyst for other growth, probably including at least one hotel and retail center. It will serve as a business accelerator. It will serve as a place for Hoosier colleges and universities to have a place in the park.”
Construction is expected to cost $8.8 million.