'Papa John' Brings Boost to Fieldhouse Campaign

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An effort to rehabilitate a longstanding fieldhouse in Jeffersonville has received a major boost. City officials are looking to raise $1.8 million to make a variety of improvements to the Nachand Fieldhouse and Jeffersonville native John Schnatter, founder of Louisville-based Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA), is contributing $800,000 to the campaign. As a result of the donation, the building will now be known as the John H. Schnatter Nachand Fieldhouse.

The Save The Fieldhouse campaign was launched in May in hopes of reaching its goal. Bill Burns, president of the Jeffersonville Parks Authority, says Schnatter's contribution brings the campaign's total to more than $1.3 million.

At a news conference Wednesday, Schnatter said having his name on the historic building is an honor. "It's all about the youth. I'm just delighted to be able to do something nice for our hometown."

The Save The Fieldhouse website says the $1.8 million goal will fund upgrades to the building's electrical and lighting infrastructure, a new HVAC system, exterior masonry reinforcement and improvements to the exterior facade. 

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore expressed his excitement for Schnatter's donation and getting closer to the campaign's goal. "I hope everybody realizes how big of a moment this day is in the history of Jeffersonville. We are bringing back a building that still has plenty of dreams to fulfill."

The fieldhouse was built in 1937 and was home to the Jeffersonville High School basketball team until 1971. The campaign says the facility continues to serve more than 15,000 people each year.

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