Fishermen consider community center for sports and the arts


Fisherman studies the need for a sports and community center that is both city-funded and has a strong artistic component following unsuccessful attempts with public and private funding.

Officials interviewed residents to find what they would like to see included in a development. In a 12-step quiz, residents marked boxes for hockey rinks, baseball diamonds, craft shops and exhibits. The city formed a 15-member committee to analyze the results and issue a report to Mayor Scott Fadness.

The development would serve as a central destination for a variety of sporting, social, community and cultural activities, city spokeswoman Ashely Elrod said. It could possibly include a mix of basketball courts, baseball diamonds, a gallery for showing art, spaces for pottery or woodworking, and conference rooms for neighborhood meetings.

The effort comes after the city last year conducted a resident well-being survey, which answered questions about their health, finances and social attitudes towards life in Fishers.

“One thing that came up was the need for more amenities, so we decided to take a look at it,” Elrod said.

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The new survey garnered nearly 3,500 responses and ended on Tuesday. Officials will analyze the results and a consultant will make recommendations by June.

Attempts at similar development have failed in the past.

In 2016, a developer proposed a project worth $ 75 million, 382,000 square feet, two-story sports complex at 136th Street and Olio Road would have included playgrounds, 12 basketball courts, a running track, offices and a family lounge, as well as a 6,000 square foot arena that could accommodate a professional hockey or hockey team. soccer.

The city would have had access to the basketball courts for about 11,500 hours per year, as well as the indoor jogging track.

But the developer struggled to secure funding and the following year eliminated the arena from the plan and replaced it with a hotel and retail space.

This proposal is ultimately dead.

The Fishers Arts Council has been looking for a permanent space for years and exhibits works of art, for the most part, at Fishers City Hall.

Last year he abandoned a two-year fundraising campaign of $ 500,000 to find a new home because the rents were too high in Fishers. In addition to City Hall, the council has showcased artwork at the Hub & Spoke, 106th Street and I-69, which is home to homebuilding companies and has a creative space for young people and students to learn the trades.

Arts Council chairman Tom Rich said a new community center could provide the space he was looking for

“All we need is a room somewhere, we don’t need a lot of things,” he said. “All we need is a wall.”

Ideally, there would be enough space for theater rehearsals and even small shows.

Although the results of the investigation were not compiled, Rich, a member of the committee, said from what he saw there was a lot of support for the arts.

“We really pushed it out there in the arts community and said this is your chance to be heard, so fill it out,” Rich said.

Call IndyStar reporter John Tuohy at 317-444-6418. Email to [email protected] and continue Twitter and Facebook.


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