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IU Northwest News

IU Northwest's Arts & Sciences Building has broad impact on region


A significant milestone in Gary’s redevelopment plan, the new addition to Broadway Avenue in University Park is a catalyst for the city’s economy

Friday Aug 11, 2017


On August 25, Indiana University Northwest will officially open its new $45 million Arts & Sciences Building.

Experts agree that this building’s presence -- and the activity its inhabitants will bring -- will make a long-term, positive impact for the City of Gary, Northwest Indiana, and its residents.

Located on the IU Northwest campus at 35th and Broadway, the building is shared by the university and Ivy Tech Community College, with innovative learning spaces and cutting-edge technology available to students at both schools. In addition, an art gallery, 500-seat professional mainstage theater, and 100-seat black box studio theater were designed for students and the community to enjoy.

When asked to envision how the building will shape the city’s future , experts from IU Northwest, Ivy Tech and the City of Gary identified three themes consistently – the building’s impact on economic development, residents’ overall quality of life, and the benefits of improved access to higher education.

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Micah Pollak,
Assistant Professor of Economics, IU Northwest

The new building promotes economic growth and advances the image of Gary

“The new building is important for the community, even for residents who may never set foot inside. New development tends to be a catalyst for further new development and investment. This new and modern space will play an important role in changing the perception of the city and hopefully serve as an important mile marker along the road of future growth and prosperity for Gary.

Greater access to the arts enhances quality of life in a community

“Residents of Gary will have greater access to the arts via the performances, art gallery and more that will be housed in the building and open to the public. Improving access to the arts is an important part of increasing quality of life and quality of place.”

A smoother path to higher education leads to a better workforce and stronger economy

“Ivy Tech Community College will occupy space in the building, including a one-stop shop for student services. This close relationship with Ivy Tech will make the transition from a two-year to a four-year degree easier and more accessible for students. Further education improves access to higher paying and a wider variety of jobs, as well as providing a richer and stronger workforce for region employers.”

Spending on the new building has a spillover effect, contributing to the Northwest Indiana economy

“While the final price tag of the Arts & Sciences Building is approximately $45 million, the value of the benefit to the local economy will likely be much more. Much of the construction spending will make its way either directly or indirectly into our local economy. Money spent on steel becomes income for local steelworkers, who in turn spend their wages in local stores and restaurants, providing jobs for region residents. In this way, the effects of an investment like this new building may be multiplied and felt throughout our local economy.

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Margaret Semmer
Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Ivy Tech Community College

Access to the arts has its own educational value

“Arts and sciences naturally complement one another. Our Ivy Tech educational programs at the new Arts & Sciences Building intend to strengthen this relationship. At Ivy Tech, we understand that learning should be active and engaging. The highly advanced learning laboratories will afford all students with exposure to what we believe are the most state-of-the-art science learning spaces in the region. Having these laboratories positioned in an instructional space that also exposes students to sophisticated arts and theater spaces creates potential for a synergetic learning community. We envision that students will embark on meaningful educational pathways, all within one building, that will develop and reinforce critical thinking, creative problem solving and team-building skills. Ivy Tech students will have the opportunity to include fine and performing arts courses previously not offered in the region in their degree pathways. IU Northwest arts and theater students will have the opportunity to take required science courses all under one roof. The legislated single-articulation pathways make all of this possible. The possibilities for all students appear limitless as we move towards this innovative and pioneering partnership in the Arts & Sciences Building.”

Higher education is within reach for every resident

“The Arts & Sciences Building that partners Ivy Tech and IU Northwest is a shared investment within the community.  Established with collaboration in mind, we feel that the Arts & Sciences academic learning space will create opportunities for Ivy Tech and IU Northwest to grow our already strong partnership through seamless transfer programs in the sciences, liberal arts, business and health.  We also believe that the state-of-the-art facility will enrich our connections in the community by reinforcing both institutions’ commitment to Northwest Indiana. It is our hope that we convince those who thought a high-quality college education was out of reach that these dreams can be a reality close to home.”

Proximity, partnership between two schools will result in more graduates

We understand that our students have life barriers that often make a seamless and smooth pathway to graduation difficult. Having more programming available under one roof at the Arts & Sciences Building helps to alleviate obstacles resulting from transportation and scheduling. By working together on student-centered course schedules for full- and part-time students, the road to graduation will become achievable for all students.”

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Bo Kemp
Executive Director, Gary Economic Development Corporation

The building is an anchor for the University Park East Neighborhood and its development plan

“The City of Gary rallied behind the building project because its presence alone will invite increased economic growth and expansion. The building became a reality, largely because of support from the Gary mayor’s and Indiana governor’s administrations and the state legislature. Many institutions and municipalities collaborated to make it happen.”

Before it was even completed, the building project led to other positive local efforts

“Because the Arts & Sciences Building plan was taking shape and instilling confidence, other city initiatives received a green light. The city received the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, for instance, and recent investments were made in the Gary/Chicago International Airport plan.”

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