Ivy Tech's bid for College Football Hall of Fame moving forward - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Ivy Tech's bid for College Football Hall of Fame moving forward

The South Bend Redevelopment Commission approved a six-month exclusivity period for Ivy Tech to further validate the feasibility of turning the building into the Ivy Tech Culinary Arts and Food Education (CAFE) Center. The board voted unanimously after hearing testimony from Ivy Tech's Chancellor Thomas Coley.

The approval means for six-months, with the option of a two-month extension, the Commission will not accept any bids for the building. Ivy Tech envisions the 52,000-square-foot facility as part of its Hospitality Administration Program. With Ivy Tech moving into the vacant building, they plan to double the size of their hospitality program, and use the facility to enhance more of their food preparation curriculum of the "farm to table" movement.

"What was once a black hole in downtown South Bend now has the potential to become a bright star," says Tom Panzica, Executive Vice President of Panzica architecture. Panzica says he was instrumental in telling Ivy Tech Community College and the Culinary Center Coalition of South Bend that the previous "College Football Hall of Fame" could in fact be used for a culinary institute.

The proposal for the site would maintain the existing gridiron plaza area as public space for outdoor dining, live performances, and other events.

"It's a great way for the college to explore education and training of students. It's also a great way for the downtown to flourish," says Thomas Coley, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Northwest and North Central. "This feasibility study isn't just for the college, but also to see how the community will react. Can Ivy Tech and City grow the downtown together," says Coley.

Right now, the city is $4.7 million dollars in debt to the "College Football Hall of Fame" facility. Donna Pfeil of the Culinary Center Coalition of South Bend says she is absolutely thrilled for the school. "We are getting more and more students who want to go into this field. This move makes sense," says Pfeil.  Panzica says the new renovations along with the restoration could cost as much as $6 million dollars.

Check back for updates from FOX 28's Faran Fronczak. She'll be traveling to the current culinary school to talk with students about their excitement of moving to a new facility.
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