Plan Could Give The Wigwam New Life

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A former Muncie Central High School basketball coach is pushing a new plan for an iconic sports venue. Terry Thimlar wants to rehabilitate the Wigwam in Anderson in preparation for a National Basketball Association Developmental League team and other opportunities. Community leaders say there isn't much time to capitalize on the opportunity as Anderson Community Schools considers the future of the gymnasium. The city has formed a committee that will examine ways to raise capital and make the venue economically viable.

December 5, 2013

News Release

ANDERSON, Ind. - The City of Anderson is on the verge of losing an icon of our community, the Anderson High School Gymnasium known as the Wigwam. The Wigwam was the home to the Anderson Indians for decades.

For too many years, the heart of Hoosier Hoops has been in dire need of repair. Unfortunately, the Anderson Community Schools (ACS) lacks the funds to repair and operate the facility. The City of Anderson is also unable financially to support the necessary repairs and to operate this iconic facility.

The loss of this piece of history and pride would be a blow to this community that we wish to avoid if we can. Over the years, a number of options have been discussed that would enable the rehabilitation and reuse of this landmark facility. One option has emerged with the potential for an economically and fiscally viable plan for the rehabilitation and reuse of the Wigwam.

Terry Thimlar, a former Indiana High School Basketball coach and now a sporting event coordinator in Florida, has presented a plan to rehabilitate the Wigwam in preparation for an NBA D-­League team in addition to other programming opportunities that would enable to the Wigwam to have long-­term viability. Thimlar's connections to and work with the NBA and its D-­League teams brings some hope for an economically viable reuse of the Wigwam.

Despite this opportunity, the time is short and challenges many. While Thimlar continues to promote his plan with Anderson community leaders, other leaders in Central Indiana and across the sporting world, time is running out as the ACS considers demolition of Wigwam in the near future.

For this reason Mayor Kevin Smith has tasked the City's Economic Development Department with forming a Blue Ribbon Community Committee for the Rehabilitation and Reuse of the Wigwam. Greg Winkler, Director of the City’s Economic Development team, has sought the leadership of Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder to serve as Chair of the Committee.

The Blue Ribbon Committee for the Rehabilitation and Reuse of the Wigwam has one central mission:

"To seek all viable means for raising the required capital to begin the long-term rehabilitation and reuse of the Wigwam and to work to produce an economically viable plan that will support the rehabilitation, reuse and operation of the Wigwam." said Chairman Tom Snyder Time is short and we must work to save and bring back to life this integral part of Anderson’s history.

The Committee will begin work immediately with Mr. Thimlar to help seek additional funding, both private and public, in addition to the funds raised to date by Mr. Thimlar and to assist in the completion of the Wigwam reuse plan to bring NBA D-­‐League games and additional events to Anderson. The City looks forward to the day when we can once again fill the Wigwam to the rafters for high school basketball games and an NBA D-­‐League game. We believe that this Blue Ribbon Committee is the best opportunity for making these dreams a reality.

Source: City of Anderson