Clock ticking on Natatorium repair plan as Olympic trials loom

July 2, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

It appears to be taking longer than originally anticipated to hammer out an agreement to make needed repairs to the IUPUI Natatorium.

But officials in Republican Mayor Greg Ballard’s office and at Indiana University remain optimistic a deal can be struck to rehab the facility in time for the 2016 Olympic diving trials.

In November, Ballard’s chief of staff, Ryan Vaughn, said he hoped by January to have City-County Council approval to fund about $9.5 million of the $20 million needed to repair and upgrade the facility. That hasn’t happened yet.

In November, Vaughn suggested the city could issue bonds to come up with its share of the repair money and repay them by tapping downtown Indianapolis economic development funds that come from a tax-increment financing district.

But Council Vice President John Barth, a Democrat, said there was pushback on that plan from Democrat and Republican council members. Since then, there’s been “radio silence” from the mayor’s office on the issue, he said.

“We haven’t heard anything on this so we assumed they were going a different direction,” Barth said.

The council’s concerns, Barth said, centered on using Indianapolis taxes to pay to upgrade a facility that is essentially state-owned.

“We understand the significance of this facility to the city, but there will have to be significant state participation in this,” Barth said.

Ballard spokesman Marc Lotter said the funding effort is still progressing. Indiana University officials remain optimistic that repairs can be made in time for the 2016 Olympic Diving Trials to be held in the Natatorium in June 2016.

“We’re working on this issue on two fronts,” said Tom Morrison, IU’s senior vice president for planning and facilities. “We’re putting together the engineering of the project and the funding.”

The extensive work is likely to take several months.

There’s good cooperation on the project between IU, city and Indiana Sports Corp. officials, Morrison added. “The right people are working on it. Everyone has the same goal.”

That goal, Morrison said, is to have the financing plan worked out by the end of this year and to do the work in 2015, likely in the summer.

If there is a financing plan in the works, that comes as news to Barth.

“Literally, we’ve heard nothing,” he said.

IU built the 4,700-seat Natatorium in 1982 for $21.5 million. It has hosted myriad national and international events. Recently there have been problems with the ventilation system. Upgrades also are needed to the facility’s roof, windows and lighting.

When asked who might pay for what, Morrison declined to discuss details. He said some of the funds could come from private donors, but added that the mayor is still committed to the city chipping in.

“I don’t want to get into the details of adding up the piggybank, because we’re not there yet,” Morrison said. “The city hasn’t backed off being a partner. … We’ve been very pleased with the mayor’s participation and that of his staff.”

  • Upgrades
    What they need is on of those spin things that dries your suit. Every local YMCA in the world had one but not this world class facility. Love the nat though
  • Double standard
    The State was ready to fund a new(unneeded)soccer stadium for a political contributor to Ballard. Why would the state not fund a rehab of the natatorium as well as Carroll(sp) stadium for track and SOCCER?
  • Overhaul
    I wish if they did this, they would also do upgrades to Carroll Stadium. The track is hardly used for any sort of events, take out the track, add new seating all around, add upgrades for the Indy Eleven and save money instead of building a new stadium for them. Just an idea.

Post a comment to this blog

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
  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: 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:

  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.