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BusINess » Carmen McCollum

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Valparaiso University to add new building

An artist rendering of the new $19 million academic building scheduled to be constructed at Valparaiso University. Construction of the new building is expected to be complete in April 2012. (Rendering courtesy of Valparaiso University.)

An artist rendering of the new $19 million academic building scheduled to be constructed at Valparaiso University. Construction of the new building is expected to be complete in April 2012. (Rendering courtesy of Valparaiso University.)

Valparaiso University will began construction this month on a new, $19 million building at the recently demolished old union site.

The University’s Board of Directors approved construction of the three-story, 52,000-square-foot academic building that will add classroom space and consolidate faculty offices in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new building follows the construction of three other buildings in supporting the university’s learning environment: the nearly completed Heritage Hall reconstruction project for the School of Law, the Donald V. Fites Engineering Innovation Center and the recently opened Harre Union.
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New Tech—A last resort

An English class works at Arsenal New Tech High School in Indianapolis. The school uses a curriculum being implemented at Calumet High School as the Northwest Indiana schools strives to shed its failing status. (Photograph by The Times.)

An English class works at Arsenal New Tech High School in Indianapolis. The school uses a curriculum being implemented at Calumet High School as the Northwest Indiana schools strives to shed its failing status. (Photograph by The Times.)

Calumet High School this fall became one of six high schools in Indiana to become a New Technology High School, bringing the number to 16 in Indiana—more than any other state.

Lake Ridge Schools Superintendent Sharon Johnson-Shirley said it’s taken three years to implement the program at Calumet, one of six Lake County schools and 23 statewide that have been on academic probation for six straight years and could face state takeover next year under Indiana Public Law 221. There are no failing schools in Porter County.

Several Indiana schools adopted the New Tech model four years ago, and The Times this month spent time with teachers and students at two of them—Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis and Zebra New Tech at Rochester Community High School in Rochester—to see firsthand how the concept is working and what Calumet High can expect.
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Calumet High School launches New Tech

Biology teacher June Lenher, right, explains an assignment to sophomores, from left, Jacob Burton, Mike Aimutis and Cody McMaster on the first day of school in their New Tech class at Calumet High School in Calumet Township. (Photograph by The Times.)

Biology teacher June Lenher, right, explains an assignment to sophomores, from left, Jacob Burton, Mike Aimutis and Cody McMaster on the first day of school in their New Tech class at Calumet High School in Calumet Township. (Photograph by The Times.)

It was organized chaos for the first few minutes at Calumet High School on Thursday as students flowed into the cafeteria to pick up their schedules on the opening day of classes.

Teachers greeted students and directed them to the correct rooms. Students, dressed in black or khaki pants with a red-, black- or white-collared tops, scrambled down the halls.

There was an air of excitement and a sense of something different. From the dress code to the New Tech curriculum for freshmen and sophomores, teachers visibly were enthusiastic and students appeared ready for work.

New Tech high schools, created by business leaders in Napa, Calif., feature one-to-one computing and project-based learning. Students use the latest software to do everything from access daily bulletins to complete math assignments.
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Educators emphasize working smarter in tough economic times

Local college and university officials say education is the key to surviving these difficult economic times.

For the 23rd consecutive year, local units of higher education are offering workshops to the public to encourage people to go back to school. The series of programs, which will begin the week of June 21, is called “Working Smarter in Tough Economic Times.”

Wes Lukoshus, vice chancellor for advancement/university relations at Purdue University Calumet, said Northwest Indiana colleges, universities and daily newspapers have offered this unique series of programs as a community service to provide information that helps area residents make valuable, informed job- and career-related decisions in response to a changing and challenging economy.
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Teresa Eineman

(Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

(Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Teresa Eineman doesn’t see herself as a hard-nosed business professional but rather a dedicated and passionate educator. A recurring statement from Eineman since she began her duties in Crown Point in April 2006 is that she intended to develop a plan to take the school corporation from good to great, and she’s remained steadfast along that path.

For many years, Eineman says people have compared Crown Point to local school districts but she said it was necessary to widen that lens and compare Crown Point to students across the nation.

“Our students come to school above average,” she says. “We needed to change the benchmark. We needed new comparable schools. We looked at school corporations with similar socioeconomic levels, performance and populations across the state.”
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Schools begin cost-cutting process

School districts across the state are bracing for budget cuts.

Griffith Superintendent Peter Morikis said Tuesday he is considering a plan to reduce the workweek for classified employees—maintenance, custodial and secretarial workers—by 2.5 hours per week.

Griffith has to cut approximately $600,000 to $700,000 out of its $15.4 million general fund budget, Morikis said. The Griffith School Board meets Thursday.
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Tale of seven counties

Actors John McInerney, Sandy Gleim and Rich Vallicelli perform Wednesday in <em>Unknown Soldiers</em>, a short play about the challenges and opportunities facing the region's seven counties—Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke. The play premiered Wednesday at Ivy Tech Community College's Valparaiso campus. The project is part of the Dare to Dream initiative, which grew from the One Region: One Vision project. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin/The Times.)

Actors John McInerney, Sandy Gleim and Rich Vallicelli perform Wednesday in Unknown Soldiers, a short play about the challenges and opportunities facing the region's seven counties—Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke. The play premiered Wednesday at Ivy Tech Community College's Valparaiso campus. The project is part of the Dare to Dream initiative, which grew from the One Region: One Vision project. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin/The Times.)

As he crossed real or imagined county lines talking to leaders across Northwest Indiana’s seven counties—Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke—Ivy Tech Chancellor J. Guadalupe Valtierra said the predominant message he found is that communication, cooperation and collaboration are important to unify this region.

Led by Ivy Tech Community College of Northwest Indiana, Dare to Dream is an initiative aimed at encouraging a “friendly conversation” among the leaders of Northwest Indiana’s seven counties to improve region residents’ quality of life.

The “conversation” with the community is being presented tonight in the form of a play: “Unknown Soldiers.”
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Purdue Calumet moves packaging industry fast-forward

Purdue University Calumet School of Technology graduate student Gautam Agarwal, left, gives a brief overview of the university's new mechatronics laboratory to U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Purdue University Calumet School of Technology graduate student Gautam Agarwal, left, gives a brief overview of the university's new mechatronics laboratory to U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Anything that’s bagged, bottled or boxed and runs on a conveyor built will be produced a lot more effectively and efficiently as a result of technology developed at Purdue University Calumet.

Purdue Calumet’s School of Technology and more than a dozen packaging machinery manufacturers from around the country have partnered to develop a campus-based mechatronics laboratory equipped with $200,000 of the type of high-speed, complex machinery used in the packaging industry.

Mechatronics is a new term for the discipline that combines mechanical engineering and electronics.
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Colleges swamped with new students, laid-off workers

Jillian Cawthon, on left, from Hobart and her lab partner Christina Avgerinas, from Munster, work Wednesday on a lab problem while at Purdue University Calumet. Cawthon is a returning student back to school after living three years in Washington D.C. with her husband in the military. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin/The Times.)

Jillian Cawthon, on left, from Hobart and her lab partner Christina Avgerinas, from Munster, work Wednesday on a lab problem while at Purdue University Calumet. Cawthon is a returning student back to school after living three years in Washington D.C. with her husband in the military. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin/The Times.)

Janaya Hood found herself driving up and down each aisle of the parking lot at the Student Union and Library building at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, searching for a parking space.

Not one was free.

The Michigan native who lives in a campus dormitory said it was clear this school year the parking lot and classes were full.

Hood, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, said her classes also are full.

“A friend of mine told me there are 10 extra people in one of her classes, and there aren’t enough seats at all,” she said Thursday.
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