Anderson board backs $11M toward new Purdue center

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a central Indiana city are backing plans to direct $11.2 million toward opening a proposed Purdue University technology education center at the site of a former auto parts factory.

Anderson’s Community Revitalization Enhancement District Commission voted Thursday to commit money for construction of the facility, The Herald Bulletin reported.

Students from Purdue, Anderson University, Ivy Tech Community College and the city schools would get hands-on experience with the latest manufacturing technology at the center, according to Greg Winkler, the city’s economic development director.

“This will allow economic development growth in the region,” he said. “Manufacturers are telling us they can’t find the people they need to run today’s production equipment.”

Attorney David Umpleby said the money toward the project will be loaned to the Flagship Enterprise Center and be repaid by the tax revenues from businesses within the revitalization district.

Purdue officials have agreed to sign a 15-year lease for the center, which is expected to begin operations in 2016. City officials haven’t yet estimated the cost for tearing down the former Delco Remy and building the center that would include Purdue College of Technology classrooms and industrial manufacturing space.

Anderson once had some 27,000 people working for General Motors and other auto companies in factory jobs that have nearly vanished from the city. City officials have taken over or demolished several old plants in efforts to attract new businesses.

Revitalization commission chairman Pete Heuer said the Purdue center would be a boost for the community.

“This is one way we can make a meaningful contribution to this community,” he said. “This will provide educational opportunities for our children for many years to come.”

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Information from: The Herald Bulletin, http://www.theheraldbulletin.com

 

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