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Ivy Tech trustees approve Waldron Arts Center deal

By Michael Malik 331-4370 |
April 15, 2010

Ivy Tech Community College’s desire to purchase the John Waldron Arts Center from Bloomington cleared a major hurdle today when the plan was approved by its state board of trustees.

John Whikehart, Ivy Tech Bloomington’s chancellor, said the board was “complimentary” of the idea.

Since Ivy Tech and city officials have an agreement in principal for the college to buy the Waldron for $150,000, the last major hurdle for the deal is approval from Bloomington’s City Council members.

The city council voiced support for the move Wednesday night. A final vote on the plan will likely take place Wednesday.

If approved, the community college will operate the Waldron as a community arts center, provide rent-free space for local radio station WFHB and also base some of its arts education coursework out of the building.
To ensure the building continues to serve as an arts center, there will be a deed restriction placed on the property stating 70 percent of the Waldron’s space must be used as a community arts center. Also, it will be required that WFHB have a space there.

In March, the city purchased the Waldron from the Bloomington Area Arts Council for $150,000, which will be refunded with the money Ivy Tech gives the city.

The arts council and city officials agreed to a deal in early March that saved the building from being shuttered amid the art council’s financial struggles and mounting debt. Also, the city forgave the $270,000 note it held on the building.

The arts council had a mortgage with the city worth $270,000 when the city gave the building to the arts council in 1990. The agreement at that time was that the arts council would not have to pay off the debt provided it maintained the Waldron for at least 30 years as an arts center.

The March deal also stated the arts council had to use the city’s $150,000, which came from tax increment financing district funds, to pay off its debt.

WFHB general manager Will Murphy, right, presents Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, left, and Ivy Tech Chancellor John Whikehart with WFHB T-shirts after an announcement that Ivy Tech will allow WFHB to stay in the current space rent free.
Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2010