GARY - Indiana University Northwest will Friday hold a dedication ceremony for its $45 million Arts & Science Building. The more than 126,000 square-foot facility will house IU Northwest’s fine and performing arts program and will be shared with Ivy Tech Community College.

The building will include a 500-seat auditorium, 100-seat studio theater and an art gallery. Ivy Tech will occupy about 30 percent of the building for its science programs and combined enrollment and admission services. 

IU Northwest says the collaboration with Ivy Tech is aimed at "increasing the number of college graduates in the region, and ultimately leading to more jobs that require college degrees, pay better, and spur economic development."

Officials say the building will also have a major impact on the city of Gary, northwest Indiana and its residents. Bo Kemp, executive director of the Gary Economic Development Corp., says the building will serve as an anchor for the University Park East neighborhood.

"The City of Gary rallied behind the building project because its presence alone will invite increased economic growth and expansion," said Kemp. "Because the Arts & Sciences Building plan was taking shape and instilling confidence, other city initiatives received a green light. The city received the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, for instance, and recent investments were made in the Gary/Chicago International Airport plan."

The dedication ceremony is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.