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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Public meeting input could help Hoosier Gym win grant for repairs

The gym is in the running for grant money which would pay for about $500,000 in needed maintenance.

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. (WTHR) – People are being invited to come out to the Hoosier Gym on Wednesday night to talk about preserving its history. The gym was built back in 1921 and is in desperate need of repairs.

Workers there estimate it will cost about $500,000 to get a new roof, plus fix windows and bricks on the outside of the building. The current windows leak and crews need to tuck point the bricks so the building can stay in good shape.

The gym is in the running for grant money which would pay for all of those updates.

People can stop by the public hearing, set for 6:30 pm on Wednesday, and share their experiences about the gym, which could help its chances at getting the money.

“This is an incredible landmark,” said Bob Garner, who is the events coordinator at the Hoosier Gym. “The history of the movie and the importance to the state of Indiana, tourism-wise, cannot be lost here. We encourage people to come out and see it for themselves.”

Workers at the gym raised 20 percent of the total amount of the grant already, but the rest would be provided if they win.

That way, they can continue to run as they have in the past, with money from donations, merchandise sales and the fees they charge for games played inside used for general upkeep.

On Wednesday morning, basketball players from Oak Hill High practiced in the Hoosier Gym. Many of them had been there before.

“I just think it’s super cool, coming in and seeing the actual floor they played on and everything that was here such a long time ago,” said Taylor Westgate, who plays on the Oak Hill team.

“I’d like my kids to play here,” said senior Jenessa Hasty, who also plays for Oak Hill. “It’s crazy. And to tell them I got to play here and if they got to play here, that’d be great.”

Their coach, Todd Law, got to visit for the first time.

“Just kind of walking down the locker room and seeing the old stone walls and how they’ve kept everything the same, the wooden bleachers, things like that,” said Law. “It’s just been a neat experience.”

“It definitely feels like you’re part of the movie and that anything can happen here,” said Hasty. “Honestly, you can win the state championship.”