TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Population growth, workforce growth and quality of life projects.

Those were the themes in the Vigo County Historical Society on Tuesday, as local higher education leaders met with state officials to discuss ongoing projects as a part of the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI program.

Officials with Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana State University and St. Mary of the Woods College spoke about projects that received at least $1 million in READI funds. Rose Hulman spoke moving Rose Hulman ventures to the property across from their campus, while ISU spoke about expanding their early learning center.

SMWC Provost Janet Clark said they are working on expanding their equine center, and the surrounding parking lot.

“We’re going to do upgrades to our indoor and outdoor arenas, as well as construct a parking lot that can accommodate horses, horse trailers and campers that will enable larger events to happen on our campus,” she said.

Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers said he was excited to see the money helping communities throughout the state meet their needs.

“An equine facility is super important to Terre Haute. It may not be important to Kokomo, right?” He said. “Having a diverse set of infrastructure, a diverse set of community is super important to our long-term growth and health.”

Clark said they wanted to use READI funds to support a program unique to what SWMC provides.

“We are the only higher education institution that has equine facilities and equine programs, so we thought, ‘How could we really make that impactful to the state of Indiana and the Wabash Valley region,'” she said.

Chambers said his office has allowed community leaders to determine how the funds are best spent, and he’s enjoyed watching the projects come along across Indiana.

“You can’t replicate getting into the communities,” he said. “Listening to the folks that are living here that making the decisions on how to invest the READI dollars, and how to invest in their communities generally.”

All the projects mentioned are currently ongoing.