Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n02)
Round the Ripple - by Bill Malcolm (from BRG v16n02 p. 10)
posted: Jan. 18, 2019
Pool activists worry about fate of Broad Ripple Park Pool post 2019
On January 2, 2019, IndyParks presented the latest iteration of their plans for Broad Ripple Park to the Department of Metropolitan Development. They also outlined allowing an unspecified third party hospital to build an outpatient health clinic on park land in exchange for building IndyParks an "event center" (which would replace the current community activity center). Claiming "safety" concerns, IndyParks claimed the private-public partnership is used elsewhere. (However, the CityWay YMCA which was apparently built by a health clinic is on private (not parks) land.) The matter will again be formally presented to DMD on January 16, 2019.
In response to our questions, IndyParks provided the following background:
Is the BR Pool to be demolished per the recent DMD presentation? - The recent DMD presentation highlighted plans to transfer the park building (family center land) to DMD as we begin the Request for Proposals (RFP) process to secure proposals for potential partnerships. The presentation was not connected to the Broad Ripple Park pool, and it did not introduce any new concepts. We are still using the park's master plan as a guide for future development. As a quick aside, the park's pool will be open this summer (pending any unforeseen issues) and we are currently accepting applications for pool staff.
Is the aquatic experience referred to a splash park? an indoor pool? - Any reference to an "aquatic experience" would be a reference to the park's master plan. If funding became available, the current pool would be repurposed with outdoor water features, an indoor year-round pool, and other aquatic options.
What are the next steps in the idea of turning over to Community Hospital land to build an event center and doctor's office? - If you recall, the Broad Ripple Park Master Plan highlights several new components including a potential partnership that could result in a new family center and place for a partner to operate. The plan does not identify a specific partner and nothing has been approved or secured to do so. Although Community Hospital was the only respondent to last year's Request for Information, the RFP will also be open to everyone. The next steps to evaluate a potential partnership involve releasing the RFP, which could occur sometime over the next few months.
What is the timetable? - At this point, we plan to release the RFP in January or February.
How can the public provide comments? - The public can submit comments to our Customer Service Center at 317.327.7275, or email IndyParksCS@indy.gov.
As readers of this column have heard me say, the Broad Ripple Park outdoor pool is a community asset that makes our community more. The pool's learn to swim program has taught many residents how to swim - including many in the economically challenged community. The Park has had a pool for over 100 years. Using precious park land for a privately operated health clinic is a waste. Put the clinic in the old Broad Ripple High School or in one of the vacant storefronts in the Village.
Join Save Broad Ripple Pool on Facebook and let city leaders including the Mayor, the head of IndyParks, and our City Councilor Colleen Fanning know you want the Broad Ripple outdoor pool kept open.
Feds Ok Fishers Plan To Tear Up Nickel Plate Tracks
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board recently approved the controversial plan of Fishers (supported by Indianapolis and Noblesville) to tear out the regional rail corridor train tracks which run from 10th Street in downtown Indianapolis to beyond Noblesville. Transit activists were heartened by part of the order that left open re-visiting joint rail-trail use in the future. The objections of rail activist Mr. Vonnegut as well as City-County Councilor Jared Evans and State Senator Crider were also dismissed in the order. Interestingly, local media reports that while Fishers is pursuing development of the corridor for trail-only use, Noblesville is not. It is still unclear why Indianapolis and regional transit leaders (including our Mayor, City officials, the Indianapolis Chamber, and environmental groups) did not object, since the regional rail corridor (aka the State Fair Train tracks) could be used for commuter rail to relieve the congestion on I-69. Since when do we let one suburb dictate regional transit planning? A regional approach is needed including discussion of a joint rail and trail use.
Music on the Monon: Indy Baroque presents "Growing up Baroque"
The inaugural concert of the new Music on the Monon series at the Indianapolis Art Center will be held Sunday January 27, 2019, at 3 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E 67th Street.
Broad Ripple Park Classes Start
Broad Ripple Park has many classes this winter including gymnastics, acting, little gardeners, preschool pottery, Bollywood, belly dancing, and aerobics. See the details at www.broadripplepark.org or at www.indy.gov/broadripplepark.
Get Out Of The Ripple-Madison Wisconsin And Chicago Weekends
Madison, Wisconsin makes for a great weekend. The booming college town has become a high tech hub. The new AC by Marriott Hotel off Capitol Square features drop dead views of the state capitol and a great bar and restaurant. The new Hampton Inn Downtown is also just steps from State Street Mall which is full of shops and restaurants. Don't miss the nearby Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Rent cross country skis at Odana Park for some winter fun.
Chicago is another fun winter weekend getway. The Hotel Versey on Diversey Parkway (at Broadway and Clark) in Lakeview East north of downtown is a bargain with winter rates as low as $58 (see www.wyndham.com).
Bill Malcolm also writes a travel column in The Midwest Eagle and is a reporter for All Aboard Indiana (as a volunteer for both). He advocates for fair and affordable utility rates for a national association based in Washington, D.C. He welcomes reader feedback and story ideas. Send to Bill@BroadRippleGazette.com