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Ivy Tech to expand South Bend campus

– Ivy Tech Community College officials are drafting a $96 million plan for a series of expansions at its crowded and growing South Bend campus.

The proposal includes a large addition, a student life center and other improvements that would nearly double Ivy Tech’s current 258,000 square feet, the South Bend Tribune reported. The plans would need the approval of state officials, funding from the General Assembly and a significant community fundraising drive.

Work is under way on a $4.7 million expansion and renovation, which will add a full-service campus cafeteria, double the size of the campus bookstore and provide space for student organizations and other activities.

Future plans include three-story additions to the existing Ivy Tech building for classrooms and laboratories and a $19 million campus Life Center that would include gym and fitness space, an auditorium and child-care center.

“We want to heighten our visibility,” Ivy Tech North Central Chancellor Thomas Coley said. “We want to help people know we’re here and what we do.”

The number of students enrolled at the South Bend campus was 3,151 in fall 2000, six months after the new campus opened, according to college enrollment records, officials said

Enrollment reached a high of 5,518 in fall 2011, and then dropped to 5,090 this fall.

Moving ahead with expansion would require backing from community residents, including a significant local fundraising campaign, Coley said.

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