Small Indy college sees fast growth

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Marian University is one of the fastest growing colleges in the country. The school is ranked 16th fastest growing in a recent report, and an announcement Tuesday will spur even more growth.

Under an arrangement with the city of Indianapolis, Marian University has managed the Velodrome since 2011.

Now, there will be new development in the area, in a move that adds to a long list of improvements in and around Marian.

Marian now has about 3,000 students, up from just under 1,100 in 2001.

St. Vincent Health will build a sports performance facility, a potential $15 million investment, near the Velodrome. The Indiana Sports Corporation is also a partner.

“We believe this will help us attract more athletes and organizations,” said Alison Melangton of the Sports Corporation, “to move to Indianapolis to live, compete, and work.”

“Knowing Dan as I do,” said Mayor Greg Ballard, in reference to Marian President Dan Elsener, “I knew that revitalizing this park would not be the last big idea for the community around Marian University.”

The community around Marian recently welcomed a new medical school and the new football stadium that became home to a national championship team in 2012.

The goal is to keep growing, and the school’s board of trustees will meet this weekend to develop a new strategic plan with that in mind.

Marian intends to remain a small college.

“So, we won’t grow for growth’s sake,” said Elsener. “If we can make a great contribution to our students and the local economy and society, we’ll grow. Right now we see a lot of opportunities to do that.”

The St. Vincent facility is scheduled to open in 2017. A clinic and office space may follow and research facilities are also a possibility.

Those facilities will host camps, clinics and seminars that will help attract students to Marian University.

Currently, plans call for enrollment to grow by 200 students a year over the next two years.

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