IBJNews

Anderson superintendent proposes closing Wigwam

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Anderson's school superintendent has proposed closing the city's most famous landmark — the Wigwam gym complex that is the world's second-largest high school basketball venue — as part of a plan that also includes cutting 65 teachers' jobs.

Closing and selling the iconic gym was one of the recommendations Superintendent Felix Chow listed at a school board meeting Tuesday, The Herald Bulletin reported.

The 9,000-seat Wigwam, built in 1962 on Anderson High School's campus, is the second largest such venue in the world, ranked behind the Fieldhouse in New Castle.

But the aging structure, which was mostly recently renovated in 2002, is also a drain on the Anderson Community Schools' budget. The district paid nearly $350,000 in utility bills for the gym in 2008, while it generated less than $8,000 from events, including a campaign stop by Hillary Rodham Clinton that attracted more than 6,000 people.

School officials have discussed closing the Wigwam before, but never received board approval. Supporters see the gym as a rich trove of Indiana basketball lore, and the gym even has its own fan website.

Closing the Wigwam is just part of the five-year plan Chow unveiled Tuesday. Chow's plan also includes cutting 82 jobs including 65 teacher positions, introducing all-day kindergarten and basing grade promotions on students' competence.

The plan is designed to meet school board goals that include eliminating the district's budget deficit by 2015.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Wigwam
    @BerwickGuy, the knuckleheads are the people that keep a facility open when they can't afford to run it. Anderson doesn't have the population anymore to fill such a building, the schools are underperforming, and they are practically broke. Is their priority maintaining a building or providing education?
  • Hate to see the day
    No way they only made $8,000 from events...that is not the whole balance sheet for certain. Having said that, I am sure they are nowhere remotely near break even. There are alternative classes held there, offices for some staff...none of that is being mentioned here. That is part of the reason utility bills are high there...they are trying to imply that it is just 11 basketball games a year and nothing else...it is used much more than that, and for actual schooling. Having said that, it is a giant building, and a memorial to a time that no longer exists...there is no way to justify keeping it open on a cost basis...you can only justify it on an historical, sentimental or anthropological basis...unless you can tap grant money, or make it some sort of historical landmark eligible for Gov't funds, there is no way to pay for it in this era of reduced budgets and tax caps. I have seen literally hundreds of games in that building, and I love it...but it is most likely well past time to follow the superintendent's recommendation. Sad, but true.
  • $8000 ??!?!?!?!?
    How did they only make $8K.

    AHS probably play 12 or so home games a year at probably $5 a ticket. If only 1000 people show up per game that is $60K in revenue.

    Its a shame (or rather a sad joke) that gym isnt used by the IHSAA for any tournament games any more. I used to go and see 8000 people going crazy for sectional / regional games....of course, that's when people actually cared about HS Ball in the state.
  • Wigwam Deserves Better Fate
    Putting aside its day-to-day usefulness, the Wigwam is a historic landmark. If you can't sell it, are you then just going to mothball it and let it fall into disrepair? And, who will buy it?? Chow is not thinking...the idea sounds good, but no way is it practical.
  • Wigwam
    Just one more proof of the fact that knuckleheads are in charge. No wonder our schools get so much criticism, it's not the teachers, it is the pinheaded administrations with no guts, sense, or ability to use any common sense.
  • Confused
    Only $8,000 from events??? How can that be possible? If they sold basketball tickets for $1 apiece and only sold 800 seats per game they would make $8,000. Am I missing something?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

ADVERTISEMENT