EDITOR’S NOTE: This news release is from the Office of Mayor Greg Ballard – City of Indianapolis.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Greg Ballard, IU President Michael A. McRobbie, the Lilly Endowment and many other organizations have announced a joint $30 million investment to better connect IUPUI to its surrounding communities and make critical renovations to the Indiana University Natatorium.
The project will include $10 million from the city to turn Michigan and New York streets into two-way streets from West Street through campus and across the bridge into Haughville. Those streets, as well as West Street between Michigan and New York, will be rebuilt to include safer pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens. Funding for the road improvements will be provided from the Downtown TIF. Construction and rerouting of traffic patterns will begin next year.
“Thousands of people enter and exit IUPUI for work, class and access to medical care every day,” Ballard said. “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.”
The other phase of the project will include a $10 million investment by Indiana University to renovate the natatorium and maintain it as a worldwide aquatic attraction. The Lilly Endowment will match Indiana University’s financial commitments pending final approvals from all organizational partners. Improvements include a new roof, heating and cooling system, pool filtration, lighting, skylights and other mechanical repairs. Most renovations will be complete prior to Indianapolis hosting the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving in 2016.
“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,” McRobbie said. “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.”
The natatorium was built in 1982. The 220,000-square-foot facility is the nation’s largest indoor swimming facility, with two 50-meter pools and seating for 4,700 spectators. It has hosted many significant sporting events, including the 1987 Pan Am Games and 13 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in swimming, diving and synchronized swimming. It is considered one of the fastest pools in the country. Over 100 records have been set in the pool, including 15 world records.
“We look forward to many more years of Olympians adding their names to the treasured wall of the IU Natatorium, cementing Indiana’s continued position as a sports capital and inspiring future generations of swimmers and divers to strive for greatness at this iconic facility,” said Allison Melangton, president of Indiana Sports Corp.