Foundation again shows why it’s a devoted pillar of the community

David Rubin, founding principal of the DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, goes over suggestions for a new strategic plan for downtown Columbus during a local committee meeting at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design in Columbus, Ind., Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. The DAVID RUBIN Land Collective was hired by the committee to lead the process of creating a new plan. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

The impact of the Cummins Foundation can be seen all across Columbus, the home of the global headquarters for Cummins Inc., the diesel engine maker and power company.

Since its creation in 1954 as the philanthropic arm of the company, the foundation has become an important part of the community through its support of more than 50 public projects. Most notably, the foundation is known for paying the architectural fees for the construction of public buildings designed by renowned architects and firms. That started in 1957 with Schmitt Elementary School and the selection of Harry Weese.

Over the years the projects the foundation has included:

  • Elementary, middle and high schools
  • Columbus Post Office
  • Otter Creek Golf Course
  • Bartholomew County Jail
  • Columbus City Hall
  • Mill Race Park renovation
  • Bartholomew County Veterans Memorial
  • Mill Race Center
  • the new Commons

That’s quite a footprint of assistance considering these structures are heavily used, well known and easily identifiable.

Now the Cummins Foundation has gone beyond its normal scope of covering the architectural fees for significant public building projects by agreeing to pay the entire $573,000 fee for the Philadelphia-based DAVID RUBIN Land Collective to lead the next downtown Columbus strategic plan.

The city’s current strategic plan, created in 2005, has been fulfilled, so a new plan is necessary to provide a vision for what the community wants to be over the next decade or longer, city officials said.

Such a strategic visioning process isn’t cheap, so the funding provided by the Cummins Foundation is significant since local taxpayers won’t have to pay a dime for the process of creating the plan.

The current project support and the support demonstrated over more than 60 years shows that the Cummins Foundation has been a great community partner. The foundation has supported the community in which its parent company does business, making it better by helping important public projects become reality.

That’s appreciated, then and now.