INDIANAPOLIS - What is being called a world-class facility for aquatic sports in Indianapolis will soon have a bigger pool of public funding to pay for maintenance.
The Capital Improvement Board voted Monday to give a $500,000 grant for the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Natatorium starting this year through the next decade.
Indiana Sports Corp President Allison Melangton said the facility houses the largest and fastest indoor pool in the nation. She said the Natatorium is a critical part of recruiting sporting events to Indianapolis including swimming, diving and water polo.
The facility is more than 30 years old and is in need of significant repair. Melangton said the city has lost 10 to 15 events in the last five years due to the condition of the Natatorium.
The grant money will be given to the Indiana Sports Corp, where it will go into a reserve fund for repairs to the Natatorium.
However, the money may not go exclusively to the facility over the next decade. The Indiana Sports Corp’s executive committee will have the authority to decide how the money is spent.
"At this moment, I will say those funds are targeted toward the Natatorium because that facility has the most -- it's non-CIB owned -- has the most opportunity to bring in more economic impact and more people, more athletes, more families to the City of Indianapolis," Melangton said.
The board approved the grant in a 5 to 2 vote. City-County Council President Maggie Lewis was one of the members who voted against it. She pointed to the city’s commitment last month to spend $10 million to improve the streets on the IUPUI campus as part of a major renovation of the building.