By Libby Roerig
Indiana State University
The $37.5 million state appropriation is the second highest in university history.
Fort Wayne -- In a bi-partisan and unanimous vote, the State of Indiana Budget Committee approved a state-supported Phase One renovation of Hulman Center on Indiana State University’s campus.
The committee approved the release of $37.5 million in state capital appropriations following a presentation from Indiana State senior officials at today’s meeting in Fort Wayne.
“Indiana State University has worked very hard on growing enrollment and fulfilling our educational mission with emphasis on community engagement, and this state appropriation helps Indiana State carry out our mission while helping infuse new energy in downtown Terre Haute,” said Indiana State President Dan Bradley.
Constructed and opened in 1973, Hulman Center has long served as the university’s focal point for community engagement and one of the key drivers to stimulating activities in downtown Terre Haute, Bradley noted. Strategically located on the campus’s southeast edge, the Hulman Center bridges campus life with Terre Haute’s downtown and hosts hundreds of events for citizens of all ages.
The Budget Committee’s support for the state appropriation and the agreement with the university for project costs not to exceed $50 million will allow for an improved venue for the 21st century.
“We are very grateful to the Indiana General Assembly, former Gov. Mike Pence, and current Gov.Eric Holcomb for their support for this exciting and much needed project,” he added.
Bradley also noted the support received from senior legislative fiscal leaders.
“Clearly, this project from its infancy would not have reached this point we celebrate today without visionary leaders such as Rep. Tim Brown (House Ways and Means Committee) and Sens. Luke Kenley and Ryan Mishler (Senate Appropriations Committee). We are so grateful to these and others at the Indiana State House who believed in this project,” Bradley said.
Greg Goode, executive director of government relations, acknowledged the hard work of local legislators.
“The renovation of Hulman Center evolved from an idea to reality because of the support of a number of legislators who recognize the positive direction of the University,” Goode said. “Certainly, we are grateful to our local legislators, particularly State Senator Jon Ford for his tireless advocacy for the project as well as his colleague in the House of Representatives, Bob Heaton.”
The Indiana General Assembly authorized the funding for Hulman Center in the 2015 state budget. Indiana state law requires approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the State Budget Committee before state funding is released. The Commission for Higher Education approved the appropriation at its September meeting.
Diann McKee, senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer at Indiana State, noted the impact of the Hulman Center project as another key building block to improving the community’s quality of place.
“This project reinforces the partnership between public higher education and the state of Indiana to better position the Terre Haute community to attract visitors to the downtown area,” said McKee, who also noted the economic impact on the local economy. “With construction set to begin next spring, this project will mean more local construction jobs, and we believe that the projected increase in activities inside this improved venue will lead to future economic development in the downtown corridor.”
Construction for the Hulman Center is scheduled to commence following the 2017-18 men’s and women’s basketball seasons and renovation work is anticipated to occur over approximately 26 months. The university will continue to hold limited activities during the renovation period.
Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
CARLISLE -- Who needs some fresh produce? The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF) community garden wants to share a bountiful harvest with area food banks in need. Six not-for-profit groups based in Sullivan, Vigo, Greene and Knox Counties are currently on the receiving end.
“We are picking every day and have way more than they can handle,” said Breanna Trimble, WVCF Community Service Director. “If your church or charity has a food pantry and needs fresh produce, give us a call, we are ready to help,” she added.
So far close to 2,400 pounds of tomatoes, corn, onions, cabbage, peppers, potatoes and much more have been picked. The WVCF garden, 2016 recipient of the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) Great Harvest Award, is on track to exceed last year’s harvest totaling 7,935 pounds. Wabash Valley staff oversee the annual project and PLUS (Purposeful Living Units Serve) participants voluntarily maintain the garden, from planting to weeding to picking.
Garden Manager (and Laundry Foreman) Bill Spurlin said the harvest will continue through the end of next month. Produce, like carrots, beets and turnips will be on the vine through October.
If your church or food bank can benefit from the healthy veggies simply call the facility at 812-398-5050, extensions 3115 or 3117. And by-the-way Ms Trimble says whenever possible, we also deliver the goods.