Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center

  • Zoe S. Erler
  • Jul 25, 2011
  • Neighborhood Revitalization, Super Bowl Legacy Project
Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center

When Mark Miles, president of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Bid Committee, went before the NFL on May 20, 2008, he laid before them an impressive case for why Indianapolis should win as host of Super Bowl 2012, not the least of which was a fighting little community on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside that was trying to pull itself out of a decades-long economic slump. At Miles’ side was Indianapolis Public School Superintendant Eugene White, who had a particular interest in Indianapolis’ selection for the Super Bowl.

White pitched the idea that the NFL’s annual $1 million grant to help start a Youth Education Town (YET) for at-risk youth in the designated Super Bowl  host city should be directed toward building a community center on Indianapolis’ historic Arsenal Tech High School campus. Originally, a civil war arsenal compound, Arsenal Tech is one of the key landmarks of the Near Eastside.

White’s suggestion helped seal the deal for Indianapolis, and today the high school is watching a 27,000-square-foot Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center take shape on its campus. The $11.2 million center will feature a state of the art fitness center, high-tech classrooms and media studio, an educational kitchen, a garden, and a greenhouse.

To pull off such extensive services, the key stakeholder—the John H. Boner Community Center—will partner with a range of service providers:

  • IUPUI’s Department of Physical Education & Tourism Management will oversee the fitness center, including exercise classes and fitness programs.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana will offer youth mentoring.
  • The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will lead character development classes through drumming, string instruction, and other workshops.
  • The Indianapolis Art Center will provide 2-D and 3-D visual arts programs.
  • Girls, Inc. will focus on self esteem, self image, personal safety, career planning, healthy relationships and empowerment for girls.
  • YMCA, Urban Mission Branch will offer wellness programs, aquatics, youth and senior fitness programs, and group exercise.
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful will direct environmental education programs.
  • Young Audiences will address arts out-of-school programming.
  • The Indianapolis Children’s Choir will give Near Eastside youth group vocal training.
  • Purdue University-Marion County Extension will lead Junior Master Gardener and 4H programs.
  • Ruth Lilly Health Education Center will run classes on healthy choices regarding smoking, nutrition, dating violence, among others.
  • IU Health will offer cooking and gardening programs.


Read Next: "Faces of the Legacy"

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