A Six-Million-Dollar Day For Henry County, Indiana

Henry County had a big day on Thursday, October 12, as community leaders celebrated an expansion for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and a grant from the PreservINg Main Street Community Development Block Grant program.

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Breaks Ground on 6,600-Square-Foot Expansion

Donna Sullivan, President of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, discussed the organization’s expansion timeline and plans during the groundbreaking ceremony. The “Past & Present, Forever” campaign started raising money for the expansion in 2022. The Hall of Fame also applied for and received a grant of $1.97 million from Henry County’s food and beverage tax fund to use for the expansion.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, New Castle Mayor Greg York thanked the late Danny Danielson, the board of directors, the volunteers, and the community for their contributions to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. He also thanked the leadership team for their hard work and dedication. Mayor York expressed his excitement for the future of the Hall of Fame and its expansion.

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Executive Director Matt Martin spoke and thanked the board members, former Executive Director Chris May, and the executive committee for their hard work. He said he is excited to see the project become a reality and thanked Donna Sullivan for her guidance. Martin noted he is simply one of the lucky ones who get to see this project through with the help of the current Hall of Fame staff.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame expansion is slated for completion in late 2024 with a budget of around $4 million. The expansion will include new interactive exhibits and artifacts related to Indiana basketball history, administrative offices, a redesigned gift shop, event hosting space, and artifact storage space. It will also provide more space for the Hall of Fame’s current enshrinement hall for inductee portraits. The expansion will be a major milestone for the Hall of Fame, allowing it to serve its visitors better and preserve the history of basketball in Indiana.

New Castle Awarded $2 Million PreservINg Main Street Grant

Immediately after the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame groundbreaking, community leaders headed across town to the newly renovated Castle Theatre event venue to celebrate a significant investment in downtown New Castle. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), Indiana Landmarks, and Indiana Humanities gathered to present New Castle Main Street with the PreservINg Main Street grant.

The award is given to communities committed to revitalizing their downtown areas. New Castle will receive $2 million to help fund projects to make its downtown more vibrant and attractive to residents and visitors. The Lieutenant Governor spoke about New Castle being a great place with a reverence for history and having friendly people who work together to revitalize the community. New Castle is “a great example of what can be accomplished when a community comes together to revitalize its downtown,” Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch praised.

Carrie Barrett, the Executive Director of New Castle Main Street, thanked everyone involved in the grant and revitalization efforts for downtown. She reflected on the closure of many manufacturing businesses in the area over the past few decades, which left the community with a sense of loss and a collective mindset that they did not deserve good things. However, she pointed out that New Castle once thrived and was full of prosperous businesses, and she looks forward to continuing to restore that sense of community and prosperity.

Mayor Greg York said the designation is “a great honor for New Castle” and will “help us continue to revitalize our downtown and make it a destination for people from all over.” The mayor is proud of the town’s progress, excited about the future, and thanks everyone for their support.

Closing the ceremony, Corey Murphy, Executive Director for the Henry County Economic Development Corporation, offered the song “Downtown” as a metaphor for the community. He is inspired by the energy and support for New Castle and says that even though work is ahead, this monumental moment deserves celebration.