Hundreds attend dedication of new Purdue Polytechnic Anderson facility

Photo courtesy Herald Bulletin

Several hundred community members and business leaders celebrated the dedication of Flagship East, Purdue Polytechnic Anderson’s new 94,000-square-foot, $14.5 million facility Friday (August 25).

Gary Bertoline, dean of Purdue Polytechnic, said that the college’s innovative partnership with Anderson and local businesses will make a difference at the community level.

Daniel Showalter Photography

Bertoline noted that a GM plant once at that location manufactured starter motors, and he said that Purdue Polytechnic Anderson wants to play a similar role for the community. “Think of this as a starter, or a start-up, on rebooting the greatness that Anderson has. If we tap into it through higher education, through working with the community, and through working with business and industry, [think of] what we can do,” he said.

Anderson is back on the cutting edge for innovation, according to Jim Schellinger, secretary of the Indiana Department of Commerce. “Collaboration is the secret sauce. If you keep that up, it will take you to great heights,” he said.

“Innovation will take us to the future,” said Thomas Broderick, Jr., mayor of Anderson, “What comes out of this building will move the city forward into the future.”

Charles Staley, president and CEO of the Flagship Enterprise Center, served as master of ceremonies for the dedication. The Flagship Enterprise Center utilizes the Wylam Center, the building’s advanced manufacturing space, to connect start-up companies and high-tech companies such as Go Electric, Leclanché, and Airbuoyant as well as the Center for Employee Development with Purdue Polytechnic Anderson students for internships or industry-sponsored capstone projects.

Activities included Maker Space tours and demonstrations of two Hurco CNC (Computer Numerical Control) routing machines and the 3-D printing lab. Jim Daughtery, a woodworking consultant, showcased the woodworking and prototyping shop.

Two vehicles which originated in Anderson were displayed. An antique Laurel racecar manufactured by the historical R&R Manufacturing was provided by James Roof, grandson of Robert Roof, a company founder. Bright Automotive also displayed an electric van. The vehicles showed how automotive technology and innovation has evolved over the past 100 years.

The Indiana Racing Memorial Association (IRMA) also dedicated a memorial marker adjacent to Purdue Polytechnic Anderson’s entrance. The marker honors the contributions of R&R Manufacturing to the sport of auto racing through the manufacture of engine parts for race cars. Speakers during the memorial marker’s dedication included Donald Davidson, historian for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Mark Eutsier and Brian Hasler, cofounders of IRMA; State Representative Terri Austin; and Pete Bitar, Purdue Polytechnic entrepreneur in residence.

Read more coverage of the dedication in the Herald Bulletin and watch video of the dedication below.

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