Governor Mitch Daniels joined members of the WestGate Authority today to break ground on the $8.8 million WestGate Academy at the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park.
The 64,000 square-foot, two-story WestGate Academy will include conference and academic institutional space
and serve as a business incubator and training facility for start-up and early-stage companies expanding their technology capacity.
“With I-69 well under construction through the region, many strategic elements are now coming together to create new opportunities for growth and make this high-tech vision a reality,” said Governor Daniels. “The WestGate Academy facility is a long-awaited development that will serve as an economic catalyst for the region.”
The WestGate, which is the state’s first multi-county State Certified Technology Park, currently has approximately 800 employees. More than 375 new, high-technology positions have been created in the park in the past few years.
“The WestGate started out with few assets some 60 months ago, but today there stands more than a quarter of a million square feet in new construction with several top commercial defense contractors as tenants,” said Kent Parisien, president of the WestGate Authority. “The WestGate Academy will enable national training symposia and technology conferences to take place here in the region.”
The WestGate, which has generated approximately $20 million in investments since its inception, is presently home
to technology operations of major defense companies like SAIC, URS, CACI, ITT, CSC, CTC, Raydar & Associates, Novonics, NAVMAR, Stimulus Engineering and Technical Services Corporation (TSC), as well as other technology companies. The nearby $2 billion Naval Surface Warfare Center conducts technology and research symposia around the country, as well as several training activities for vendors and technology partners.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered WestGate @ Crane Authority, Inc. up to $1 million from the Technology Development Grand Fund as a local match to a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant commitment of $6.6 million. Local grants were offered through the WestGate Authority.
“The American economy depends on the continuous flow of new technologies and new ideas entering the marketplace to keep us competitive,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “This EDA grant will create jobs in the tri-county area by helping entrepreneurs leverage existing local resources to create new businesses and support regional economic growth.”
In 2012, I-69 will open in the region. The new interstate will pass within a few miles of the WestGate.