June 18, 2021
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first_img An Analysis Of A Possible $57 Million Dollar Breach Of Public Commitment By The StateIn the Spring of 2011, IU Medical School-Evansville Dean, Dr. Steve Becker and City Councilman, Dr. H. Dan Adams, began to discuss an idea that would make the new downtown IU Medical Center an educational composite for FOUR local schools in order to achieve “REAL TEAM CARE”. Ivy Tech was and still is an important part of that four school collage. When the very first preliminary rendering of the new IU Medical school campus in 2013 was presented to the Medical School Center creative team, Mayor Winnecke quickly signed off on the proposed project. The original architectural drawings had four separated, educational buildings designed in this project. The four were designed to house IU Medical School, USI Nursing School, U of E Nursing and PA programs and IVY Tech’s med tech students.After Dr. Adams explained to Skanska Contractors what “REAL TEAM CARE” concept was all about they immediately responded with the following architectural rendering posted on our cover page. We would like ask you to review the right side of the IU-Evansville Medical school building design. You will see that Ivy Tech’s med tech class rooms were indeed a major, contiguous part of the original plans for the downtown IU-Evansville Medical School campus?We distinctly remember the official vote by the IU Board of Trustee when a local TV Station carried the meeting live? A big tent was erected on the area of the proposed Medical School site with all the movers and shakers of this community in attendance. Right after the vote to approve the Downtown IU-Evansville Medical campus was taken, wine flowed like water in celebration of this event.Shortly after the vote, the promise that Ivy Tech would be a part of the new downtown Medical school seemed like a broken political promise. By including Ivy Tech in the original plans, City Council and Mayor Winnecke were able to guarantee the lump sum of $57 million, generously funding the downtown IU-Evansville Medical school complex.Sources tell us that during the mid-planning stage, Southwest Region Ivy Tech (Evansville) Chancellor, Jonathan Wienzapfel curiously demanded that the Ivy Tech educational pod be dramatically increased from 40,000 square feet to 60,000. This surprising addition really caused some concerns with the project planners. In fact, we were told at that point that Chancellor Wienzapfel’s influence with the project planners started to waiver. We have been told that the President of Ivy Tech, Dr. Sue Ellsperman, has told administrators at Ivy Tech-Evansville that any future comments concerning Ivy Tech’s role in the downtown Medical school is off limits.Mayor Winnecke and The Evansville City Council pledged to sell $57 million dollars of bonds to build a complex, state-of-the-art facility to house Indiana University Medical School-Evansville, University of Evansville Nursing and PA programs, Southern Indiana University nurses and Ivy Tech med tech students in the now-being-built downtown IU-Evansville Medical school complex. Like a thief in the night, the Indiana State Legislature quietly eliminated IVY Tech medical class room space from this project. We wonder if this shouldn’t be considered a “breach of the contract”  by adhering to the terms of the original public commitment they made?  If the entire $57 million worth of the construction bonds has been sold, we wonder if the Ivy Tech portion is being held in escrow, earning interest?We hope that the IVY Tech portion of the $57 million commitment to fund this project will be held in escrow, until the Mayor and City Council are able to resolve the issue of Ivy Tech’s role in the proposed downtown IU-Evansville Medical school project. It appears to thE CCO and many others that the State officials may have a possible “Breach of Public Commitment” issue, concerning this project.Finally, we are puzzled why members of the our Legislative delegation decided to quietly sit back and watch the State Education officials eliminated Ivy Tech’s funding from the proposed Downtown IU-Evansville Medical school without a political fight?FOOTNOTE: Todays “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that our elected officials should push the State to include Ivy Tech in the IU-Evansville Medical school project?FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img