Current News

Concept plan for the Tolleston Opportunity Campus

Gary city council gets update on Tolleston Opportunity Campus

Contributed By: The 411 News

Groundbreaking planned for spring 2025, completion by December 2026

Two pools – one for family swimming and a second for therapy – along with indoor and outdoor fitness tracks are in the plans for the Tolleston Community Campus in Gary.

That’s what the Gary city council heard at its Wednesday night meeting from Crossroads YMCA in Crown Point, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Northwest Indiana, and Methodist Hospitals, the team charged with repurposing the John Will Anderson Boys & Girls at the former Tolleston School into a city-wide community center.

Tai Adkins, Gary city council president said the council needed an update on the project that has a $30 million budget and asked the partners to make a presentation.

In 2023, the council had approved the spending of $10 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds for the project. Ten million dollars each came from the Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation and an Indiana READI grant.

Concept plans for the campus also include a childcare facility, a kitchen/cafeteria, and a family gymnasium.

Jay Buckmaster, CEO of Crossroads YMCA, said the site will have 60,000-70,000 sq.ft. of new construction.

“We wanted to get this right,” Buckmaster said, “so we started to really search the country and look for other people that have done these types of partnerships – YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, hospital partnerships.”

“What we really found was people really were pretty independent in these partnerships,” Buckmaster said. “The biggest thing was if they had to do it over again, they would have spent a little bit more time connecting with each other and collaborating.”

Also, none of the facilities had a shared lobby.

“All of them were connected, but they weren't. They all had different access points. And some of them even closed because the connectivity wasn't there. We were committed that this was going to be the best living room in Gary,” he said.

Buckmaster said a RFP is out for a construction manager and a RFP is out for an architect. Both are due May 31st and a decision will be made by June 24th.

Plans call for a groundbreaking in March or early spring 2025. Building the facility will take about 21 months, Buckmaster said, in time for the December 2026 deadline on spending READI and ARPA funds.

Story Posted:05/12/2024

» Feature Stories

Add Comment

Name (Required)  
Comment (Required)  

View Comments