Martindale-Brightwood is a historic Indianapolis neighborhood, yet it is one of few in the city without a community center or a place that residents feel welcome - and call home. CICF is excited to be working with residents of Martindale-Brightwood to renovate former IPS School 37 as a community center. Though it closed in 2007, School 37 remains an icon in the neighborhood; so much so, the community named the new center "37 Place: the Heartbeat of Martindale-Brightwood."
"What makes this project really unique is that the community is involved in every step of this process," says Rosemary Dorsa, Vice President for Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives.
A community center designed by the community... for the community
After signing the lease in June, the center opened its doors for the summer and four agencies provided activities to 200 children every day. In September, 150 people joined us for a community cookout and volunteer day. A total of 311 volunteer hours resulted in: 14 classrooms cleared, 18,000 square feet of carpet removed, 10,000 square feet of landscape complete, and 256 square feet of garden planted for a new urban garden! (Not to mention the consumption of 176 hot dogs!)
Renovations to 37 Place are estimated to cost approximately $4 million. Major needs include installing air conditioning, sprinklers, and an elevator to make it fully accessible. A $100,000 grant from the State of Indiana will help provide for new energy-efficient windows, which will count as matching funds toward the preliminary commitment of $1 million from United Way of Central Indiana.
The renovations are important first steps in helping the center serve the community, but according to Rosemary Dorsa, they're not the only ones being taken. "We're working to find additional agencies who will help make 37 Place sustainable before we ask the community to take it over," she says.
For more information on 37 Place, contact Alicia Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.634.2423, ext. 173.