IBJNews

City focuses on streets in $30M natatorium plan

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

What began with city officials trying to figure out how to overhaul the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI in time for the 2016 U.S. Olympic diving trials has morphed into a $30 million deal to benefit the college campus and the near-west side, as well as Indianapolis' reputation as a hub for amateur sports.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard on Monday morning unveiled details of the plan, in which IUPUI and Lilly Endowment each contribute $10 million for the natatorium overhaul, sought by the Indiana Sports Corp. after the city was selected to host the diving trials in June 2016.

IBJ first reported on the proposal July 3.

Lilly Endowment has a history of contributing to projects that are difficult to justify when financed solely with taxpayer dollars. The endowment contributed, for example, to the construction of the Hoosier Dome before Indianapolis had a football team.

The city will tap the downtown tax-increment finance fund to reconfigure streets on the IUPUI campus and create better connections with neighborhoods west of campus and with downtown, east of campus.

Michigan and New York streets will be converted into two-way streets from West Street through the campus and across the bridge into Haughville. Those streets, as well as West Street between Michigan and New York, will be improved to include "safer pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens," the city said.

Construction will begin in 2015 and is expected to last two years.

"Thousands of people enter and exit IUPUI for work, class and access to medical care every day,” Ballard said in a prepared statement. “These streets improvements will make it safer and easier for people to access campus and encourage investment and development in Haughville, Hawthorne and Stringtown from companies seeking to be near IUPUI and the growing IU Health complex.”

Improvements to the natatorium include a new roof, heating and cooling system, pool filtration, lighting, skylights and mechanical repairs.

The 220,000-square-foot facility was built in 1982 and is the nation's largest indoor swimming facility. It hosted the 1987 Pan Am Games and 13 U.S. Olympic trials in swimming, diving or synchronized swimming. More than 15 world records have been set at the facility.

City-County Council Democrats had objected to the city's initial plan to provide $10 million for the natatorium overhaul, saying the cash-strapped city should not be paying to renovate state property.

“Just as the  IUPUI campus has been an integral part of downtown Indianapolis for decades, the IU Natatorium has become one of the city’s signature sports venues over the last 30 years,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a prepared statement. “Indiana University’s investment in the future of the natatorium is emblematic of our commitment to the city of Indianapolis. The planned improvements will allow the natatorium to provide swimmers and divers of all levels – as well as fans of the sports – with a world-class facility for years to come, further strengthening the strong partnership between IU and the city.”

Tom Morrison, IU vice president of capital planning and facilities, said the city's willingness to help IUPUI execute its master plan for Michigan and New York streets freed up the money it needed to match Lilly Endowment.

The mayor's chief of staff, Ryan Vaughn, said the endowment has always been at the table ready to contribute to the facility, which the endowment helped build in the first place. He said the deal came together about five months ago, but IU had to make formal application to the endowment for matching funds.

Department of Metropolitan Development Director Adam Thies said the Metropolitan Development Commission will be asked to vote Wednesday on the TIF money.

The project might end up costing the city less than $10 million, Thies said. Designs and engineering plans are yet to be worked out.





 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • good project
    Just one correction..liberals are rarely complaining about Ballard's projects. It's typically Cons that are calling him names because god forbid that he spends any money on bike lanes or other projects in the interest of the general public. Now, I do have a problem with over-use of TIFs in general (lack of transparency, easy to abuse and create long-term financial problems for the city), but that's a whole different story..
  • Seems like a good compromise deal
    More residential construction at IUPUI and in surrounding neighborhoods means more residents spending more $ in local venues. An improved Natatorium means we will continue to attract Olympic trials and other amateur events to the venue which, in turn, pump millions of tourism dollars into the local economy. And two-way traffic will enhance pedestrian safety and improve the overall sense of place on campus. I'm not a huge Ballard fan, but this seems like another good public-private partnership that will pay long-term dividends in an important part of the city.
  • Ballard vs. Hogsett
    Joe resigns, then THIS pops off. Wow! It is on!!!!
  • Shocking Italiano
    Is there some way we could teach proper capitalization to easily shocked Italianos?
  • Deport him
    Isn't there some way we could Deport this idiot mayor????
    • so its OK to throw money at the Pacers and the Colts and a Cricket Stadium?
      What is going on, it is OK to provide subsidies to multimillionaires for the Pacers, the Colts, and a waste of money Cricket field and not spend money on a world class swimming, diving facility and IUPUI. Sorry, but it seems we have misplaced values, not on amateur sports and education, but city money for professional sports thatshould be subsidized and payhed for by Pacers players, coaching, etc. the Simons, and Colts players, coaching,and the Irsays. Who has the money and why should central Indiana residents subsidize any of this.
    • Excellent
      Natatorium is badly badly badly (cannot emphasis that enough) in need of this work. Will be interesting to see what the engineers/architects find when they dig into the building to create plans for the project. Money well spent by IU and Lilly.
    • Typical mis-characterization
      I grow weary of people calling every one-way, multi-lane street in this city a highway. It is a flat out falsehood. Furthermore, what will the exact lane configurations be in this conversion? Will it be one lane of traffic in each direction, another lane for transit with the balance being split between the median and bicycle lanes? I'm sure it will look pretty but traffic will be constricted and slowed to a crawl. Not to mention slowing access to one of the state's busiest hospital's where mere seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
    • TIF
      This is the problem with TIFs. It diverts tax money from being used for public safety and puts rules in places saying the money has to be used for specific things. Then you get fools who say, "Its TIF money!!! We can't use it on cops!"
    • TIF strikes again...
      If it's not tax money, why is it called Tax Increment Financing??
    • B&O Trail
      If the Town of Speedway has any sense they will jump on this. The planned B&O has been planned to stretch from the new main street redevelopment right up a connection with this corridor. That trail would be transformative for Speedway, similar to the pedestrian/bicycle access provided to Broad Ripple via the Monon. Not saying Main Street is Broad Ripple avenue, but they've got a start out in Speedway and the trail seems essential to people actually wanting to live there.
    • Taryn
      C'mon Taryn, At least read the article. As I and many have said, the city is not spending money on the Natatorium. Good grief.....
    • Project
      Dude, please reread the article. The city is not spending any money on the Natatorium. It's coming from IUPUI and the Lilly Endowment. The city's money is going toward streets and improving traffic flow.
    • Flashing lights and signs?
      Why is the street configuration necessary? New York and Michigan get congested enough as 4-lane one-way streets, imagine how bad they'll be when they are only 2-lanes in each direction. Furthermore, there are TONS of flashing lights and yield signs for pedestrians EVERYWHERE on IUPUI's campus, but I swear I'm the only driver who yields to the pedestrians there. Just enforce the existing signs!
    • Great News
      Excellent investment! Many times people are too shortsighted to see that investments such as these are just as important as "fixing potholes". And, perhaps I missed it, but could you point out where your / our pockets are being pilfered in this deal, Italiano? I didn't read where any of your (or my) tax dollars are involved.
    • This is what cities are supposed to do
      This is obviously good for the city and all of its residents. Would you object to any improvements to anything in our city until every pothole is filled? Why? Look, there's a proposal for roads in place, with funding proposed as well, it simply requires the City Council and the Major to agree. It will happen (not soon enough, perhaps, but it will happen). In the meantime, yes, let's do the common sense, demonstrably smart things that will make our city better.
    • Sigh
      No money for cops, no money to fix potholes, no money for sidewalks, but theres always money for cricket, the pacers and now this.
    • Typical of the boo birds. If you read the article you would see the city is not spending on a sports venue, but investing in making the streets safer and more efficient while improving neighborhoods. If you want someone to blame for the potholes, blame the dems. They are the ones who made them a political issue by holding up money until the potholes are decided by politics and not need. As far as spending the money for crime prevention et al, you can't spend TIF money on that. It is for infrastructure. Ie roads, sidewalks etc.... Making those streets safer is a very good use for that money. That it coincides with a project that will benefit the entire city is a plus and good planning on the city's part.
    • Great for everyone
      Complain, complain, complain. This is good for downtown, good for the near west side, and good for IUPUI. There is no reason for New York and Michigan to be one-way super highways through campus, and West Street needs to be slowed to reflect the fact that it is in the middle of a downtown area, not the suburbs. More pedestrians and bikers in this area (and slowed traffic) will actually improve safety in the area. This is exactly the type of partnership into which the city should be entering.
    • Greg Ballard
      Greg Ballard just does not get it. His focus is SOLELY on what city projects can be created to make his campaign contributors money. Our city is literally crumbling and he just does care. City money for this project is completely unnecessary. If the natatorium needs upgraded, then let the OWNERS worry about it.
      • What?
        "bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens" These are all nice things to have, but can we freaking get the hundreds of potholes all over the city fixed first?!?!?!!?!?!
      • Shocking
        Not a word about how much the taxpayers will be ripped off on this deal. Crime spirals out of control and the the social problems that cause it go unheeded by an administration that does not give a rats behind about the welfare of our citizens. There is no money for police or plowing snow (remember last winter) or or or or, but spend on a sports complex, and the cash flows out of the taxpayers pockets. This city is SICK

        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. The Affordable Care Act is not the reason for the slow recovery and lack of high paying jobs for low skill workers. This is a trend that has been going since the early 80's. The recovery is real in the sense that GDP has been growing steadily at a rate of roughly 2.5% since the recession ended in late 2009 (newsflash, the stimulus worked) and the unemployment has been steadily dropping. The reason issue we are facing deals with a skills gap (not enough workers with the right credentials / experience) and wage stagnation due to corporate America being focused solely on maximizing profits for shareholders and not caring about the American middle class. Why should they? Multi-billion dollar mutlinational companies keep offshoring their profits in order to avoid paying taxes (which makes our deficit worse) they convince Americans to fight amongst themselves. If you want to create jobs and reduce the deficit, raise the minimum wage and change corporate tax laws. Of course, if you want to continue to belive that tax cuts for wealthy create jobs (which they don't) and allow corporations and the wealthy to continue to make you cover more and more of the costs of maintaining infrastructure, funding the military and other government services, then keep voting Republican. Hopefully someday you wake up and realize what's been going on since Reagan took office.

        2. Helloooooo, my name is Kate. I am so joyous to share this wonderful testimony about what Dr. Osoijiakhena, a great spell caster, did for me and my family. I wedded a year and 6 months ago, we were very happy during this whole period, i really love my husband so so much. I started noticing changes when he started coming home late at night, he stop paying attention to me, i later found out that he was having an affair with another lady, i dont know what she did to get to him but she really got a hold on him. He started spending weekends with her, and threaten for divorce. I was so heart broken and devastated, i spent many night thinking on how to get my husband back. A friend took it upon herself to to introduce me to one Dr. Osoijiakhena, a great spell caster, who once helped her with a spell that reunited her family and helped her husband secure a very prolific job. Though i had my doubts and never believed, but i decided to give it a try because i was helpless. I contacted Dr. Osoijiakhena, the Spell caster, to help me reunite my family by bringing back my husband from that other woman and break whatever hold she had on him. He only just told me that it's a minor issue, once i provide and do everything he will ask me to do, then i will have my family back again. I did everything he required. And he did it!!!!! My husband returned back to me and pleaded for forgiveness, and i also secured a well paid job in a big company, just as the great spell caster, Dr. Osoijiakhena said. I am so so happy to share my testimony on this wall. I am using this medium to tell every one that has same or similar problem to try the great Dr. Osoijiakhena through his mail: drosoijiakhenaspell@gmail.com......he is so real!!!!! He can also help you with: (1) IF YOU WANT YOUR EX GIRL/BOYFRIEND TO RETURN BACK TO YOU (2) IF YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE BACK (3) IF YOU WANT TO BE PROMOTED IN YOUR OFFICE (4) IF YOU WANT YOUR MAN OR WOMAN TO LOVE YOU (5) IF YOU WANT A CHILD (BARREN) (6) IF YOU WANT TO BE RICH/WEALTHY (7) IF YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE TO BE YOURS FOREVER (8) IF YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED AND WANT YOUR MONEY BACK (9) IF YOU ARE HAVING DELAY IN GETTING MARRIED (10) IF YOU HAVE A COURT CASE AND WANT TO WIN (11) IF YOU'RE A DRUG ADDICT AND YOU WANT TO REALLY STOP (12) IF YOU CANNOT IMPREGNATE A WOMAN (STERILE) (13) ALL TYPES OF DISEASES I advise you to contact the great Dr. Osoijiakhena, the spiritualist for solutions via his email: drosoijiakhenaspell@gmail.com

        3. Sergeant McNally is buried in Cathcart Cemetery on a hill known as McNally%u2019 Hill. The Cemetery is in a natural bushland setting and is very well maintained.The emergency department at Ararat Hospital is known as the John McNally Emergency Department. Cathcart is approx. 4.6 km from Ararat and is approx. 345 m above sea level.

        4. My spring chicken of a Mom is turning 75 years young. She is a big fan of Frankie and I think she would get a big kick out of the film. I wanted to take her to the Broadway play but am priced out. Thanks for your time and consideration. Oh yea, Wildwood! Joie

        5. I thought this company would go bankrupt in 2013/2014. I predicted that four years ago. I was wrong. It will take another couple of years, but they will get there.

        ADVERTISEMENT