Crane — The WestGate Academy at the WestGate @ Crane Technological Park is officially under construction after Gov. Mitch Daniels joined the WestGate Authority to break ground for the facility Wednesday.
Daniels spoke to a crowd celebrating the new $8.8 million center that includes conference and academic institutional space and will serve as a business incubator and training facility.
But, Indiana’s governor also took time in his 8 1/2 minute address before the ceremony to assure members of the mostly southern Indiana crowd that I-69 will be completed through Bloomington by 2014.
Environmentalist groups in the Bloomington area have recently threatened to again file a suit against construction of the new road in that area of the state.
“I-69, there are a lot of reasons to pursue that project through,” Daniels said. “I have come to care and understand deeply the future growth of this facility. I will be going to Monroe County later today (the governor’s next stop was the Monroe County Fair in Bloomington) and if anyone there can question that project (I-69), I’ll tell them about this event and the people here.
“It has always been, always been, our top priority to help those parts of Indiana that have not always benefited as some of the other parts in the growth of recent years. I am so pleased to see things coming together on this project and we’ll see it (I-69) through in Bloomington, whether they like it or not.”
Those statements drew an enthusiastic round of applause.
Daniels later supported his desire to see the completion of the road.
“Frankly, we’ve always seen Crane (Naval Surface Warfare Center) and I-69 as indispensable, among other virtues, as a single best way to lift up this part of the state,” Daniels said. “I just wanted to see the people of Bloomington remember their neighbors to the southwest and understand we’re simply trying to see them have the same opportunities for success as so many enjoy.