State budget brings $10 million to Columbus Learning Center

The Columbus Learning Center will be paying off its debts and extending its lease at the Columbus Municipal Airport, thanks to $10 million in funding from the state budget.

State Rep. Ryan Lauer, a Columbus Republican, and other local legislators announced the additional funding yesterday. The Columbus Airpark Campus, owned by the Columbus airport, has a sublease with the state to house IUPUC, Ivy Tech and Purdue Polytechnic and hosts more than 4,000 students.

The learning center building is operated by the Community Education Coalition. Its lease was set to expire in 2025, but under the state budget bill it would be extended for 10 more years.

Lauer originally wrote separate legislation with the additional funding and lease extension for the learning center, but it was ultimately approved after being added to the state budget bill.

Lauer said that the funding will “ensure the campus still has a home here while providing a way to invest in the future.”

State Rep. Jennifer Meltzer, a Shelbyville Republican representing northeastern Bartholomew County, explained the role of the center for the local economy, allowing students to increase their skills close to home, benefiting local employers.

State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Seymour Republican representing southern Bartholomew County, said the center brings educators, businesses, communities and students together, to help fill the need of employers to find and attract workers.