The city of Fishers has unveiled plans for its new, nearly $23 million Arts & Municipal Complex. The three-story facility will feature dedicated exhibit, performance and gathering spaces, as well as city administration offices and conference rooms. The city is partnering with the Indianapolis Art Center, which will program and operate the facility.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Mayor Scott Fadness said the decision to incorporate arts into the new city building was an easy one.
“We did a community survey about a year and a half ago of residents, trying to identify what other quality of life or amenities they would want to see in our city and arts, public art, the opportunity for art programming ranked very, very high on that survey,” he said. “The need for art infrastructure has been top of mind and just with the opportunity to redevelop city hall and it being right in the heart of our city, we felt like this was a great opportunity to implement some of those components of art.”
Last year, an engineering report showed the existing Fishers City Hall needed millions of dollars in repairs due to foundational and mechanical failures, according to the city.
That led to the city issuing a Request for Proposals and Quotes for a new complex. In December, a a design scoping agreement was awarded to Fishers-based Meyer Najem Construction and Indianapolis architecture firm DELV Design.
“It’s been an incredible experience to lead the design of the Arts & Municipal Complex – not just professionally but personally as a resident of Fishers,” DELV Design co-founder and principal Jeremy Welu said in written remarks. “The partnership with Meyer Najem and the City has allowed us to truly meet the goals of this project: to provide a functional and beautiful community beacon that becomes a ‘building for the people,’ and we couldn’t be more excited to see it come to fruition.”
The city says the new Arts & Municipal Complex will have a slightly larger footprint than the existing facility with current parking lot access and capacities being maintained.
The first floor will be dedicated to the Fishers Art Center, with programming being provided in a collaboration between the Indianapolis Art Center and the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission.
It will include a theater that can seat up to 250 for performances and more than 330 for flat-floor events. The city says Fishers-based artists, performance groups and nonprofits will have priority usage of the theater space.
“This is an exciting time for the arts community in Fishers,” said David Decker, president of the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission. “Having a physical home in Fishers was a long-term goal for many of us in the arts community and I can’t think of a better location than this. We look forward to collaborating with Indianapolis Arts Center to continue to grow and drive arts in Fishers.”
Fadness says boosting the city’s arts and culture programming will bring many benefits.
“That energy attracts companies, attracts creative class people that you want in your community that’ll drive the next generation of companies,” he said. “I think it’s all part of an overall vision to create a place that really is a destination for the best and brightest, and when they come here, we know their companies will follow.”
The second and third floors of the building will hold about 60 municipal office spaces and conference rooms. The city says the facility will accommodate current staffing levels with flexibility for potential future growth.
The project is being funded through a combination of American Rescue Plan Act funds, municipal bonds and city cash reserves. The city says no taxes will be increased to support the project.
Construction on the complex is slated to begin this fall after the demolition of the existing City Hall building. Fadness expects the complex to open in 2024.