Redevelopment commission approves funding portion of airpark development

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Columbus Redevelopment Commission will help fund a portion of a project located on the Airpark Columbus College Campus.

The commission voted Monday to approve the Community Education Coalition’s (CEC) request for $100,000 for “infrastructure needs” at the campus. The funds come from the commission’s airport Tax Increment Financing district.

Redevelopment commission member Shannon McDonald recused himself from the vote, as he sits on the coalition’s board.

CEC officials said at a previous meeting that the funds are for a landscape and access project on the campus’ southwest corner. The project has received a $1.7 million grant from the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, and the coalition has raised another $600,000.

The commission’s contribution brings the project budget to $2.4 million. John Burnett, CEO of the Community Education Coalition, said the $100,000 will provide support for geotechnical surveying, engineering, design and infrastructure.

The corner is one piece of a larger long-term project. The Cummins Foundation’s architecture program has provided a grant for a landscape design framework for the airpark campus and a detailed design for its southwest corner. Architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), based in Seattle, was selected as the project’s designer from a shortlist recommended by the foundation.

The landscape design project has involved a number of community and campus stakeholders, with the CEC helping lead discussions. The work was partially spurred by the construction of Moravec Hall, the new campus building for Ivy Tech Community College Columbus that now forms part of the airpark campus’ southwest corner.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.