Ivy Tech Community College−Northeast dedicated its $900,000 Auto Body Center Thursday. The ceremony helped introduce the community to the new site where more than 100 students learn to repair damaged cars and trucks.
The building at 7717 Opportunity Drive originally was constructed in 1990 and had previously been used for construction offices and warehousing for a local contractor, according to the school. The renovated 10,000 square-foot building houses the college's Auto Body portion of its Automotive Technology program through the School of Technology.
Besides allowing students to learn a trade with up-to-date equipment and professional supervision, students at the Auto Body Center provide another benefit for area residents: To reinforce what the students learn in classes, they perform real repairs, including entirely new paint jobs.
Assistant Instructor Jaron Grayless said that people can save a lot of money by allowing the students repair or paint their vehicles. Three students were in a paint booth Thursday morning, working on just such a project.
Kyle Sprowl, Courtney Stroud and Tyray Bradley were painting a replacement fender for a 2004 Taurus. The owner paid only about $200 for the new fender and paint. Grayless said that repair at a typical body shop would cost $700-$800.
The new Ivy Tech Auto Body Center is on a 2-acre site in an industrial and office park. Ivy Tech notes that this location provides much greater capacity for students and includes considerable room to grow, too.