Multi-million dollar overhaul approved for Broad Ripple Park

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indy Parks and Recreation Board has approved a plan to pump $70 million into Broad Ripple Park over the next 20 years, but already, there are some concerns from people who love the park, in particular about the future of its pool.

Rarely a summer day goes by that you won’t find Amanda Thompson and her two kids cooling off at the pool.

“Both my kids have learned to swim in this pool,” said Thompson. “It has held a very special place in our hearts.”

She’s heard about the plan to invest around $70 million into the park as part of a master plan to overhaul one of the city’s oldest green spaces.

“I think it’s fantastic, as long as the pool stays,” said Thompson.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Indy Parks Deputy Director Donald Colvin said there are no solid plans to close the pool.

“There is no intention to close the pool unless we go into construction of the large community center which would sit in proximity to the pool area and it would be closed during that time,” said Colvin.

The overhaul includes plans for a new aquatic center, an amphitheater, a river walk, new sports fields, and a makeover of the popular dog park.

“Oh, it’d be fantastic to have an uplift,” said parent Dani Nelson, who visits regularly with her daughter. “The place is great, there’s a lot of space.”

The sticking point now is the price tag.

“You can’t do projects like this only on public tax dollars,” said Colvin. “You really have to have philanthropic dollars. You have to have private dollars.”

How those partnerships materialize is yet to be known and it’s likely that funding will ultimately drive the project’s timeline.

“There’s elements of this plan we’d love to say we’re going to get done in a five year period of time, but in reality a vision of this scale of $70 million could be up to a fifteen, twenty year process,” said Colvin.

The Indy Parks Board has approved the master plan, but now it has to get approval from the Metropolitan Development Commission.

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