Looking Ahead: Construction projects, new council members, adult education program coming in 2024

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Several changes will greet the Noblesville community in 2024, including new members on the city council, expansion of Noblesville High School and continued work on several projects that are underway.

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A rendering of Phase 1 of the Reimagine Pleasant Street project. (Photo courtesy of the City of Noblesville)

PLEASANT STREET

Work continues on Reimagine Pleasant Street, a multi-year initiative to improve east-west connectivity and accessibility, according to the city.

The first phase is planned to be fully completed in the fall. Phase 1 is the segment from River Road to 11th Street and creates the connection over the White River from River Road to 10th Street, according to the city.

Construction bids for Phases 2 and 3 were accepted in fall 2023, according to the city. This year, the city will begin relocating utilities, clearing trees and constructing a bridge over Cicero Creek. In spring, roadway construction will begin for Phases 2 and 3.

“The biggest project the city has ever undertaken is a $125 million east-to-west corridor called Pleasant Street,” Mayor Chris Jensen said. “I’m so proud of that because we’ve talked about that since the mid-80s.”

INNOVATION MILE AND THE NOBLESVILLE EVENT CENTER

Innovation Mile is a “work, live, play, engage and learn” business and technology hub, according to the city. It encompasses approximately 600 acres fronting Interstate 69.

Two tenants for Innovation Mile are the Indiana Joint Replacement Institute and the Noblesville Events Center. The events center will be the home of the Indiana Pacers G-League franchise and will host other events.

The city council recently approved the financing strategy for the events center, which includes consolidation of certain economic development areas and redevelopment areas; municipality leasing; and bonds.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the east side develops out in Wayne Township between the investment that we’ve made in Innovation Mile to welcome really incredible businesses there to the Pacers that are bringing their G-League team and then even to residential developments,” Noblesville City Council President Aaron Smith said last year.

The events center is expected to be completed in 2025, said city attorney Jonathan Hughes. The groundbreaking was Nov. 6, 2023.

RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS

Smith applauded the agreement the council made with PulteGroup to widen Boden Road, Olio Road, 156th Street and 166th Street. PulteGroup will also pave Nobleville’s share of the roundabout at 166th Street and Boden Road, Smith said. The Del Webb community being built by PulteGroup was recently approved by the council.

“Those are changes that every resident of Noblesville will be able to experience, which I think is a great way to welcome new people into the community but ensure that it doesn’t fall on the backs of those who currently already live here,” Smith said.

Smith said the PulteGroup development might take up to 10 years to build but he expects progress this year. The project includes market-rate multi-family apartments; market-rate units and dwelling units; commercial/retail space; Del Webb units, or age-restricted units for people 55 and older; traditional single-family and specialty housing dwelling units; and an amenity center.

Additional residential developments in the works include:

  • East Bank Noblesville Riverside Apartments: A mixed-use development of residential units and retail space. It replaces the Hamilton County Employee Parking Lot, revitalizes underutilized space along the White River and enhances the river and Riverwalk Trail, according to the city. It is between Conner Street and Maple Avenue and 6th Street and the White River. Pre-leasing for the apartments starts in spring and summer 2024, according to East Bank’s website.
  • Federal Hill Apartments: The project redevelops the land west of Federal Hill Commons and includes apartment units, commercial retail space and parking garage spaces for public use. It is between Connor and Logan Streets and between John and Nixon Streets, according to the city. City officials expect the project to be completed sometime this year.
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Dave Johnson, middle, is sworn into office as District 5 Councilor by City Judge Matt Cook, left. (Photo courtesy of the City of Noblesville)

NEW CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

Three new council members took office this year. Evan Elliott is an at-large councilor, Todd Thurston represents District 2 and Dave Johnson represents District 5.

“I’m really excited to work with Todd, Evan and Dave,” Smith said. “I have personal relationships with all three of them, and since they won, I’ve been working with them, getting them up to speed with everything that’s happened over the last four years.”

PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING

Preliminary work continues on plans to build a new public safety building, said Smith, adding that the current building is too small for the city.

“We’ve put our money where our mouth is and have started that funding process,” Smith said. “It’s going to take a while to make happen, but it’s a priority that both the council and the mayor have flagged as important.”

Smith said the 2024 budget includes a little more than $2 million to fund preliminary drawings and work for selecting the new building site.

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Rendering of the Crossroads Discovery Center. (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton East Public Library)

THE CROSSROADS DISCOVERY CENTER

Katelyn Coyne, director of experiential learning at the Hamilton East Public Library, said the library will build the Crossroads Discovery Center in place of the Indiana Room. While other construction was happening at the library, Coyne said the staff thought about what to do for the second floor and wanted to connect with Noblesville’s history.

Coyne said the room will have more hands-on and experiential learning opportunities.

There will be genealogy reference help, a permanent collection of local history and genealogy reference books and Indiana-specific history books. The center will also have exhibit space and increased technology to help people preserve their family memories.

“We’re still offering all of the same great stuff that people know and love from the Indiana Room, with some added things like a permanent exhibit about genealogy and local history, a print lab,” Coyne said. “They’ll have additional technology like new scanners and reporting equipment to do oral histories and an increased staff.”

David Heighway, Hamilton County historian, has joined Coyne’s team full time as a staff member.

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Rendering of one of rooms for the academic expansion at Noblesville High School. (Photo courtesy of Noblesville Schools)

ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM, EXPANSION, CIVICS COURSE

The Noblesville Schools Board of Trustees recently approved an agreement with Washington Township Schools to establish an adult education program. The program will help adults in the school community refresh and improve academic skills to get a job, enroll in career training, prepare for the High School Equivalency Test and improve English language proficiency.

The program is funded through a Washington Township Schools Adult Education program grant, which is from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The program rolls out in August.

Another expansion for Noblesville High School will break ground this year, Superintendent Daniel Hile announced at last year’s State of the Schools luncheon. The expansion will create new classroom space for STEM programming and expand and renovate space for performing arts programs, among other changes.

Hile also said a civics course for sixth-graders will start in January. Noblesville Schools is partnering with Indiana University’s nonpartisan Center on Representative Government on a pilot program for a civics virtual reality education technology initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense.v


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