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Ivy Tech Marion Campus Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Marion, Indiana

Of the 73,000 county residents, 6% of the workforce lost a job due to business closure City of Marion

a strategic partnership, a shared vision


-6% of county workforce lost a job due to business closure -Attract new businesses -Leverage relationships with higher education institutions as additional economic source

-Open access and affordable higher education -Role-driven, technical curriculum driven by pre-design worker skill assessment -Local graduates for local economc impact

-Educational program enhanced by dedicated community space -Designed as a billboard to attract attention from adjacent interstate -Community forums for design concepts -New image for Ivy Tech and city of Marion


-Retain local workforce -Create a locale that supports aggressive pursuit of new enterprises -Create a model relationship between city, county and state for shared economic and educational goals


creating a community-centered campus A growing need for workforce training and a shift in economic focus led to a non-traditional partnership between Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s Grant County and the city of Marion, Indiana. Despite a growing number of jobs eliminated due to the loss of several factories and industrial companies in recent years, Marion has experience a resurgence of business and development. This resurgence is powered by continued investment in education. Ivy Tech Marion represents the essence of a community college. The campus, curriculum and facilities are designed to make a prominent impact in the local economy, training students for the high-end tech jobs that the city is continually recruiting to set up operations in the greater Marion area. Both the coursework and learning environments are designed for employment outcomes, including a substantial investment of space dedicated to biology, science, chemistry, medical and industrial labs. The campus sits prominently between the historical downtown and the adjacent interstate roadway, creating an opportunity to make a positive first impression about the region. The exterior design demonstrates awareness of this billboard opportunity, effectively integrating multiple points of architectural interest and throughout the twolevel facility. Materials and massing fit naturally into the 48-acre site that includes a large pond and wetlands.



1 The two-story facility also includes an 18,000-square-foot college and community center, featuring a 250-capacity lecture hall and divisible banquet rooms for hosting community and college events and provides large presentation spaces and facilities for the community. 2 The facility was placed on one of the most valuable pieces of land in the city of Marion, adjacent to the densely populated traffic on Interstate 69 that is the primary entry to the city. As such, the site and building are designed to garner attention from drivers. 3 The design team took considerations in making the entire site functional for the community. The 48-acre site is a natural prairie with a lake and wetlands. A walking path was designed around the lake that makes the site an amenity accessible for anyone in the community.


EDUCATION The project’s success was largely attributed to Ivy Tech’s altruistic approach to education. Through its affordable, quality educational programs and services, the College seeks opportunities to strengthen Indiana’s economy and enhances cultural development. Ivy Tech Marion provides students access to 37 general purpose and specialized classrooms, including: a state-of-the art radiology lab, a hands-on forensics lab and a nursing and medical assisting suite, among other cutting-edge facilities. Wireless connectivity and an expanded enrollment/registration center offer increased convenience for students and faculty alike. A workforce certification center transitions students into their future careers. Ivy Tech Marion provides a wide variety of educational spaces, including: biology, science, chemistry, medical and training labs, and an industrial lab. General purpose and specialized classrooms are a core piece of the program, as well as a learning resource center, an academic support center and multiple distance learning rooms that support modern educational delivery.

As an open-access institution, Ivy Tech Community College provides Indiana residents with professional, technical, transfer, and lifelong education for successful careers, development, and citizenship.

design Linear, cloister and neighborhood floor plans were explored in terms of user collaboration, movement and support of project goals. The final floor plan revolves around an 85,000-square-foot, two-story academic building with a commons area at the heart of the complex. Inside, the commons area shared by students, staff and visitors promotes the concept of a centralized hub of the building. The space uses a layered, neutral palette to welcome the community into the building and a combination of materials and textures to create movement throughout the facility. Layered drywall creates interest in the space. Wrap-around wood paneling with slivers of art glass separate the central library and computer room from the public areas while still sharing the natural light. Student life is concentrated in the commons area, which contains the registration area, bookstore and breakout spaces for collaborative learning. With a variety of interaction spaces, the common area is designed to meet the broad range of student needs that are often accommodated in multiple buildings on a typical campus. Corridors to the different learning environments span out from the hub. The hallways use floor patterns and threedimensional, layered wall planes to guide people from the building’s various zones.

Ivy Tech Marion exemplifies that sustainable strategies do not always cost more. As a state institution, the design team was charged with creating a site and facility design that would reduce the cost of construction and ongoing energy usage supported by the taxpayer. The design team conducted site and building concept studies to determine appropriate configuration and how to protect the pond and wetlands on the 48-acre site. The designers took care to bring the outdoors in by designing common areas and banquet rooms that overlook the pond and wetlands, part of the native prairie integrated into the site. The prairie requires less maintenance, provides a natural wildlife habitat and integrates into the prairie style architecture of the building. The building’s prevalence of labs created a high demand for outside air. The engineering design responds with an application of technology unique to the Ivy Tech system: demand controlled ventilation in concert with dedicated outside air systems. Reducing both first and operating costs and increasing indoor air quality, the engineering system uses energy recovery technology. The demand control ventilation system monitors classroom carbon dioxide levels and adjusts the quantity of outside air to match occupant building load. When the building is unoccupied, only the code minimum ventilation is provided.

Vision 1970


redefining a community with education


The success of this project has been driven by a shared vision among three parties. Through crossing traditional educational project

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boundaries, strategic partnerships between the City of Marion, Ivy Tech Community College and the State of Indiana has achieved stronger results than would otherwise be possible individually.


Although the campus has only been open since 2008, Ivy Tech Marion is already supporting the reverse of an economic downturn caused by


City of Marion Industry Services


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a non-traditional partnership, the college, the city and the county were able to train and retain local workers while creating a communitycentered campus with interactive learning spaces and community gathering spaces. By working together under a unified set of goals, all parties were able to achieve their economic and educational goals. Colleges can adapt their curriculum and their spaces to support regional needs by taking

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advantage of flexibility and looking for opportunities to work with state


and local government. Colleges can strategically plan their curriculums

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business closings, downsizings and a shift in regional industry. Through

and their growth by cultivating relationships with local legislature and local industry. In addition to benefiting the local economy, colleges can increase enrollment, improve efficiency, and improve student and faculty retention and satisfaction.

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“Ivy Tech graduates are facing a job market that demands specialized training in high-tech fields. The new Marion campus offers students a much more hands-on, enriching experience and greatly improves options for people in the Marion area.� city spokesperson

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Ivy Tech Community College Marion Campus  
Ivy Tech Community College Marion Campus  

A case study on a a new community college campus that was the result of a strategic partnership between the city, the college and state gove...