By Morgan Crouse
December 17, 2014
Anderson, IN —
The ECI Regional Planning District is proud to support and endorse the first of many projects to come from the Anderson, Muncie, New Castle (AMNC) Strategic Plan as the City of Anderson moves forward with plans to redevelop the former Delco Remy Plant 18 site into a new state of the art Purdue College of Technology and Flagship Makers Space facility.
This project is the first of many catalyst projects to come from the AMNC Strategic Plan.
In the Spring of 2014, the District brought the cities of Anderson, Muncie and New Castle together as the Manufacturing Triangle of Indiana to develop this plan to revitalize and reshape manufacturing in the region.
“We want to see a renaissance of where it was 20 years ago,” said Cory Sharp with the Purdue College of Technology, “We’re in growth mode in Anderson. Our enrollment is up and we want to inspire, attract and retain 21st Century technologists in Madison County.”
The Anderson Redevelopment Commission and the City of Anderson are currently working to acquire the property from the current owner.
The City plans to demolish the plant and build a new 94,100-square-foot building that will support as many as 500 students and hundreds of entrepreneurs. The intent is a direct connection between business and educators to train a resourceful labor force needed to attract new companies.
The facility is planned to be complete by 2016 with work to start next year. Preliminary drawings of the new facility have already been completed.
The heart of the new building will be a Maker Space where students, teachers and entrepreneurs can collaborate to produce and test prototypes and refine new designs.
Surrounding this space will be a variety of tools ranging from specialized learning labs and incubator spaces and even a light industrial space where students can work for local established and developing businesses.
“We have a workforce development strategy that includes increased collaboration between education and businesses,” Sharp said, “This will be the core of the region’s future intellectual property development.”
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith said the city is positioned to see growth occur unlike any that has happened in the past.
“This is putting all of the pieces together,” Mayor Smith said, “through our partnerships with the local educational system and Purdue.”