By Lindsey Ziliak Kokomo Tribune
---- — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo will lease 11,000 square feet of space in the historic Armstrong-Landon building downtown to increase its presence in the community, officials said.
The college’s state board of trustees approved the proposal Thursday.
First Farmers Bank and Trust recently purchased the building from the city of Kokomo. First Farmers plans to create a bank branch and move some of its corporate offices into the six-story building and offered to lease two floors to Ivy Tech at a “very favorable rate,” college officials said in a release.
In fact, the college will pay only $10 a year for the space, Chancellor Steve Daily said. Ivy Tech signed a 15-year lease.
He said Ivy Tech Kokomo is still figuring out how to best use the space. Plans will be announced as they are finalized in the next 60 days.
“With the approval of our state board, Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region can begin work on how we can best use this prime office space and be part of the exciting renaissance underway in downtown Kokomo,” Daily said. “With this space, Ivy Tech joins a number of other downtown projects, including new housing for senior citizens and military veterans, a new YMCA, a new four-story parking garage with apartments and Indiana University Kokomo’s new gym, in revitalizing the heart of Kokomo.”
The college will likely use part of the space for offices and part of it for seminars for Ivy Tech’s corporate college, Daily said. He said some departments could start moving their offices into the space before the end of the year.
Ivy Tech will add a computer lab there for the corporate college to use.
Daily said he’s excited to offer seminars and classes in such a centrally-located place. Ivy Tech has wanted to have a presence in downtown for quite some time, he said. The college is always looking for ways to be more accessible to more people. This is a great way to do it, Daily said, with the trolley lines coming through the heart of the city.
The new space also will allow college officials to increase their presence in the community.
“This brings us closer to government, civic, media and business leaders and other supporters of the college,” Daily said. “The proximity with the Excel Charter School and Kokomo Schools’ Central Middle School and its dormitories for international students provides opportunities to foster relationships with students whose educational journey could continue with Ivy Tech. ... It helps us create this synergy for education.”
The city of Kokomo acquired the building in June with the intent of bringing additional traffic and commercial redevelopment to downtown.
Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at email@example.com.