The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 1:00 am

Indiana Tech project gets $1.7 million grant

Zollner Center labs to finance expansion

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

A $21.5 million renovation and expansion project on Indiana Tech's main Fort Wayne campus has gotten a $1.7 million boost from the Don Wood Foundation, the university announced Monday.

The grant will help fund the construction and purchase of state-of-the-art lab equipment for new laboratories at the Zollner Engineering Center, Indiana Tech said in a news release. That area of the building will be named The Don Wood Foundation Science, Technology and Engineering Wing.

Karl Einolf, university president, said he is grateful for the local foundation's support. Students and the regional economy will benefit from the learning opportunities the money will enable, he said.

“This tremendous grant will enable us to fully realize our vision for turning the Zollner Engineering Center into one of the finest engineering and computer sciences facilities in the country,” Einolf said in a statement. “With the support of the foundation, we'll be educating future leaders in STEM fields of every description for years to come.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Don Wood created the foundation to support training and education in areas including industrial, machine tool and engineering technology. Executive Director Laura Macknick said it is pleased to partner with the university, which has a reputation for providing quality educational opportunities for engineering and technical students in northeast Indiana.

Construction on the Zollner project began last May, and the first phase – a 30,000-square-foot addition – will be completed in August.

The release said the next phases includes renovations of the existing facility, resulting in an entirely new, 70,000-square-foot, three-floor facility for programs including engineering, computer sciences, cybersecurity, life sciences and technology.

The project has also received federal funding. Last week, U.S. officials announced the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration awarded the university a $1.5 million grant funded by the American Rescue Plan. Those dollars will be used to buy technical equipment for 11 engineering- and manufacturing-related certification programs.

The work on Zollner is expected to be finished in fall 2023.

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