The home of Marian University’s national championship cycling team is getting a makeover. Plans are to build a new facility near the Cycloplex that school and city officials say will benefit the neighborhood as much as the university.
Inside a small room at the Cycloplex reads a sign that says “Thanks for helping us grow our community” and four bold red numbers, 1,168. That’s the number of unique riders at Marian University’s Velodrome, so far this year.
The Velodrome is part of the Cycloplex and school president Dan Elsener says the development of a new St. Vincent Sports Performance facility will make it even more attractive.
"We envision this sports performance and research center as a place where talented athletes, including professionals from the Colts, Pacers, Olympic hopefuls, national championship college to promising middle and high school students, can come and enhance performance, recover from injury, learn about nutrition, discover best practices for safety in their sport," said Elsener.
The exact cost of the project is not yet known. Elsener says it could range from $7 to $15 million. It will be the first step in redeveloping the Cycloplex.
Organizations such as Indiana Sports Corp, Play Ball Indiana, USA Football, and USA Track and Field are contributing to the effort.
The city will contribute, as well, but Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard would not specify how much. Yet, he believes the investment in the facility will benefit more than just the university.
"I still think it can be a catalyst for economic redevelopment in areas beyond Marian's campus especially in combination with the tremendous investments Marian has made in the last decade in student housing, food service, academic buildings, athletic facilities, and of course in the college of osteopathic medicine," said Ballard.
The goal is to have the performance facility opened by 2017, but both Elsener and Ballard hope it’s completed earlier.