The City’s Regional Public Safety Academy at Southtown Centre will be a reality. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June with the facility opening in November 2007. The $27 million, 125,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will provide police, fire, emergency medical services, and homeland security training and education for professionals and students from Northeast Indiana and across the Midwest. The academy has also been designated as the first of 10 regional fire training centers in Indiana.
Education partners include IPFW, Ivy Tech, Indiana Tech, Taylor University, St. Francis University, Tri-State University, and Fort Wayne Community Schools (Anthis Career Center). The educational institutions will use classroom space at the academy to teach and train students to become public safety professionals.
A group of community leaders is studying the feasibility of a downtown mixed-use baseball stadium. Last October, I announced a call for action to begin several downtown projects as recommended by the BlueprintPlus process. One of the recommendations was to further evaluate a downtown mixed-use baseball stadium complex. With the recent sale of the Fort Wayne Wizards, we look forward to working with the new ownership team to continue the team’s success in Fort Wayne.
The City’s iTeams have announced an extension to the “Innovation Challenge.” The City will accept ideas through March 13. High school students in Fort Wayne are asked to develop innovative ways to use broadband technology. Entries must include a one to two page essay with no more than 800 words. Entries will be judged on creativity, detail, a clear objective, and innovative thoughts. Entries may be submitted via email at iTeams@cityoffortwayne.org or by mail at iTeams Innovation Challenge, One Main St., Room 980, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
The top five entries will be awarded with a lunch with me, and a job shadowing opportunity with the City’s chief information office. The top five entries also will have a brainstorming session with ACELINK to develop future concepts and outreach programs. ACELINK, a partner with iTeams, provides all Allen County public and private school districts, IPFW, Region 8 Education Service Center, and the Allen County Public Library with broadband services. In addition, they will have their work published on the City’s website and their ideas will be part of a future iTeam.
iTeams were created as a way to use technology to promote innovation and investment. Three iTeams have already been developed. The NetLiteracy iTeam is aimed at empowering young people to increase computer availability and Internet literacy for underserved youth, families and seniors. The Hearing Impaired iTeam is working to bring greater independence to the deaf and hearing impaired community by developing a video relay service on a broadband network. The Virtual Medicine Eye iTeam is working to provide real-time diagnosis for diabetic patients with possible retinal problems.