Nearly 200 people were on hand at the Academy's formal opening this week. What started as an idea four years ago is now a reality and now travel away from Crane will start to reverse.
Westgate Authority President Kent Parisien says, "Crane had a need. They go to conferences and seminars outside of Indiana, sometimes California, Washington D.C. They'll be able to bring those things in here."
The building has an entry way that can accomodate up to 150 people to mingle, then over 700 that can comfortably fit in the large meeting area.
That means a variety of customers, if you will, can utilize this building for an infinite number of reasons.
But the primary reason is to incubate and develop new business that will feed the economy of southern Indiana for years, even decades to come.
One such example is the Battery Innovation Center, or BIC, that broke ground just a few weeks ago.
Parisien adds, "The Battery Innovation that's coming off the base and it's state-of-the-art, second to none, is coming through here and being spit out to the private industry."
Another major thing. When Crane contends with another BRAC hearing to determine if the base stays open, the Westgate Academy is a tremendous asset to make sure that Crane's future is solid and bright.