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March 7, 2011

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Greencastle Wins Millions from State, DePauw to Benefit

Greencastle is officially the recipient of the multi-million dollar Stellar Communities grant. Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman announced Monday that Greencastle and North Vernon have been selected as the pilot communities for the long-term funding project. The state will invest over 31 million dollars between the two communities over the next three years.

The opportunity was announced last October for Indiana communities to submit proposals for the multi-million dollar grant. By December, forty-two communities were still competing for the funds. From those, 12 submissions were chosen for final review and asked to submit more detailed development plans. President of DePauw Dr. Brian Casey collaborated with Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray to create the development strategy. The plan involves major alterations to the town’s square, including renovation of sidewalks, the creation of new parking structures and remodeling of the square’s historic buildings. President Casey said the University will participate in the square’s transformation by moving its bookstore to a new, downtown location.

Although the University will receive none of the funding directly, President Casey said DePauw will benefit from the creation of a more welcoming college town.

CASEY: "The idea that we’re going to create a great college town. Helping develop a livable, walkable commuity between the city square and the campus. And that’s a roughly 16-block area of which the University is a major land holder. So we’re going to convert that into what hopefully will be a great little college town."

Conditions for receiving the grant required communities to include significant investments of their own in the proposals. Dr. Casey said DePauw sees the grant as an opportunity to tie itself to the community financially and symbolically.

CASEY: "Some parts of the campus improvements that are really closer to the town and the decision to move the DePauw bookstore to the square were all considered matches, joint investments with the state in the development of Greencastle."

The grant will be formally accepted on Thursday at 1 PM during a press conference in the Great Hall of the Green Center for Performing Arts. Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman will present the award along with representatives from major state agencies. Dr. Casey and Mayor Murray will also speak at the Press Conference. Casey said he expects hundreds of state officials to be present.

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