I'm excited about a new collegiate anchor on Fort Wayne's south side that increases the potential for economic development in the surrounding area.
In August, I announced, along with Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D, a plan that brings a new vision for the future of the Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana (PSA). Under the plan Ivy Tech will expand its program offerings at the facility to be named the Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech South Campus.
The plan provides for Ivy Tech to sublease the entire PSA from the City for a term which is concurrent with the City's remaining (nine-year) lease obligations, at the expiration of which ownership of the PSA will be transferred to Ivy Tech.
Over the final phase of the PSA's financing package, taxpayers will save approximately $300,000 per year, or $2.7 million throughout the nine-year agreement.
The Public Safety Academy is 132,000 square feet of joint-use training and education space located in southeast Fort Wayne at the former Southtown Mall location. Currently, the state-of-the-art facility delivers integrated Public Safety training to all types of Regional First Responders, both volunteer and paid professional units.
A partner in the PSA since 2007, Ivy Tech–Northeast will continue to offer programs in Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, Public Safety Technology and Paramedic Science at the south campus. Enrollment in these program areas exceeded 1,200 students during the 2011-12 academic year. The college will also explore the possibility of relocating courses in Liberal Arts, Hospitality Administration, General Education and Human Services to the PSA. The new relationship signals an increase of about 20 course sections and the potential of moving some degree offerings to the facility, making it easier for trainees to pursue associate degrees.
The PSA will remain the home of the Fort Wayne Police and Fire departments' training academies. The Fort Wayne Police Department provides more than 18,000 hours of training each year to its officers and has supplied training to 98 departments in the region.
As a local, state and federal resource, the existing training opportunities presented at the PSA by various federal entities will also remain in place. And, the PSA will serve in its uninterrupted role as an Emergency Operation Center site for the City.
Ivy Tech Community College's State Board of Trustees endorsed this proposal in early August. Pending action by Fort Wayne City Council and all other necessary approvals, it is anticipated that the new sublease will be finalized and in place by the close of 2012.
A Fort Wayne built for success means that we are constantly transforming our strengths into competitive assets. The Public Safety Academy is one of those strengths, and the new partnership with Ivy Tech–Northeast will help to realize its full asset potential while expanding our area's outstanding educational and economic opportunities. This development is certainly exciting news for the ongoing development of our city and the potential for economic investment on Fort Wayne's southeast side.