Land acquired for Education Facility

Land acquired for Education Facility Main Photo

1 May 2024

Success Stories, News

Officials working to bring a facility providing workforce and career track education and training to Hancock County have secured land for the development.

The 20-acre site is located at the northwest corner of CR 300N and CR 200W, and an option is in place for a contiguous additional 20 acres.

The site was purchased for about $1.72 million, with $1.4 million coming from an Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) award and the rest from Hancock County, which will own the property.

The future facility, called Amplify Hancock, is planned to start at 95,000 square feet and accommodate training and educational needs for employers, schools and adult learners.

Ivy Tech Community College along with other educational providers are engaged in the design and future programming of the facility.

Rob Matt, Senior Vice President, Hancock Health, chairs the board leading Amplify Hancock. He noted that while this is not the first time such a facility has been pursued in Hancock County, this is the first time efforts have reached this far.

“This time, it’s a blessing that it is occurring at the pace that it’s occurring,” Matt said. “The timing is good. The county is growing. We have leadership in and across the county that are all about allowing good growth to occur, and supporting that with the necessary educational infrastructure.”

Hancock County’s four school corporations are involved in Amplify Hancock, and will bring their workforce training curriculums for high school students to the facility. Ivy Tech Community College will provide career education to high school students there as well.

Amplify Hancock will also offer adult education, with possibilities spanning from interesting curriculum to degree and certificate programs. Ivy Tech and Vincennes University are among potential providers.

Matt praised the hard work the county’s school corporations have already been doing preparing students for careers after high school.

“They were really out in front of this ,” he said. “They were the four school systems seeing needs of their student population, and meeting that need inside their school system individually, and then beginning to talk together. Then there were those who were able to pull in the employer piece, the adult education piece, and see a picture of what could be, which people gravitated to.”

Additionally, employers will have a presence at the facility for equipping their employees with the skills they’ll need to succeed.

“There are 10 programs that if Amplify had as an offering–Hancock Health would send employees to–from front-line leadership skills, to certified nursing assistant programs, to Six Sigma programs,” Matt said.

Amplify Hancock leaders look forward to identifying more employer needs to ensure they can be met at the facility.

The Hancock County Commissioners selected the Veridus Group as their owners’ representative, RATIO Architects as the architecture firm, and Meyer Najem as the construction manager for the project.

Hancock County officials plan to initiate an economic development bond to fund construction. Depending on building costs, that figure could span between $40 to $50 million. The bond will be paid by the county’s tax increment financing funds, which come from taxes spurred by new commercial and industrial development.

Officials aim for Amplify Hancock to open at the beginning of the school year in late summer 2026.

Matt applauded all of the collaboration among employers, government, schools and other stakeholders in helping to make Amplify Hancock a reality.

“Everybody has been wonderfully supportive, and it’s not easy,” he said. “It’s got its hurdles. It’s just been a really wonderful process to be part of. It’s cool to see it all. This is a prototype, if you will, of how cooperation and sharing a vision can happen in a community like ours.”