Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2005
IU offers support in efforts to protect the Crane Division Naval Surface Warfare Center
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University officials Wednesday (March 23) presented a check for $25,000 to organizers of a community-based effort to protect the Crane Division Naval Surface Warfare Center from being targeted in the next round of military base closures and realignments.
The funding, made available by the IU Foundation, comes entirely from private sources and includes no tax dollars.
Lee Marchant, a Bloomington business and civic leader, said the IU check brings to nearly $350,000 the amount of money raised locally to support lobbying and economic development efforts on behalf of Crane. Other major contributors have included the City of Bloomington, Monroe County and area realtors.
Marchant accepted the check from Kenneth Gros Louis, senior vice president for academic affairs and chancellor of the Bloomington campus, and Bill Stephan, vice president for university relations and corporate partnerships.
"Over the past several years, IU has developed strong relationships with Crane on a number of levels," Stephan said, "and today, we wanted to express in a very tangible way our support for all the efforts to keep Crane viable."
Stephan said IU's involvement with Crane is in keeping with the university's statewide efforts to preserve existing jobs and foster economic development that brings new jobs to Indiana.
Stephan noted that Crane is important to IU not only because of its economic contributions to the region, but because its technology and research missions complement several of the major research efforts at the Bloomington campus. Expanding these relationships can serve as a magnet to attract more investment in high-tech enterprises in the Bloomington region.
Crane, a 100-square-mile military facility 25 miles southwest of Bloomington, employs some 4,000 people in high-paying technical and engineering capacities. Its payroll and purchasing of local products and services, pumps an estimated $368 million into the regional economy.
Crane is one of a number of military bases around the country being examined for possible closure or downsizing. The Navy's recommendation is due May 16. The Navy's decision will be reviewed over the summer by an independent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission and submitted to Congress before the end of the year.