The Town of Whitestown announced April 7 plans for a new $20 million aquatic facility near the former automotive junkyard, Wrecks Inc., near Interstate 65 in Whitestown.
“We are breaking ground later this year,” Whitestown Town Council President Clinton Bohm said. “By 2025, we will have the facility up and going and ready for full utilization.”
The first steps toward a public-private-partnership for the project, including a build-operate-transfer adoption, will go before the Whitestown Town Council at the April 12 meeting. The BOT adoption is a collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build and operate large publicly owned projects.
“Our expectation is that we have council support to move forward on our agenda at the April 12 meeting so that we can get official approval on the ordinances and resolutions that we need to move forward,” Bohm stated.
Bohm said the project will be paid for without raising property taxes.
“For many years, we’ve been hearing residents say that they wanted the aquatic center,” Bohm said. “Now with our industrial and commercial growth and the financial planning we’ve put through, we are in a very sound position to use our tax increment financing dollars, that we have on hand, and supplement with some debt services that will be able to cover the cost of the project and get this going.”
Amenities, size and a name for the new aquatic center have not been finalized but the announcement of the plan has been “long-awaited,” Bohm said.
“It took us a long time to get to this point. This project has been going on for many years,” he said. “It started underneath our previous council President Eric Miller and Vice President Susan Austin.”
The new aquatic center will neighbor a future youth sports fieldhouse, hotel, housing, retail space and more at Maurer Commons, a mixed-use space announced in 2021 as a joint venture between Milhaus and Homefield to redevelop the 135-acre area that Wrecks Inc. once occupied.
“The aquatic center was always one of the pieces that the town was going to be pushing forward as Milhaus was working on their youth sports fieldhouse concept with Homefield,” Bohm said. “We’ve been in communication with Milhaus the last couple of years on this project working towards development, and now that this site has been signed off on, this will be a great resource for Milhaus to move forward.”
“We hope that this will be the spark to light the fire for full development of that space.”