The YMCA proposed this project at the October meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board. Muncie’s City Council must approve this lease to allow this project to move forward. Watch the 10-20-2020 Park Board meeting video here, where the plan was first proposed. Watch the 11-23-2020 YMCA Presentation here, where the YMCA officially announced its plans to build at Tuhey Park. Watch the 12-01-20 City Council Land and Traffic Committee meeing here.Read the transcript of the meeting and view the letters in support of and opposed to the project here.
Tuhey Park is a community resource. It may live in the Riverside-Normal City neighborhood, but it belongs to the entire City of Muncie. It is a beautiful greenspace – a place to play, to gather, to make memories.
We will fight to save our park and we hope you will join us to stop the City of Muncie from giving Tuhey Park over to a developer to build a gym and parking lot. Please sign our change.org petition to SAVE TUHEY and reach out to your CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE to express your support.
The City of Muncie has proposed leasing Tuhey Park to the YMCA, which intends to close its Downtown and Northwest facilities and build a new 64,000 square foot facility and 300 parking spaces in Tuhey. The YMCA will manage the public pool and the playground equipment will be relocated to the northwest corner of the park.
The YMCA proposed this project at the October meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board. Muncie’s City Council must approve this lease to allow this project to move forward. Watch the 10-20-2020 Park Board meeting video here, where the plan was first proposed.
Our central concerns with the YMCA consolidating at Tuhey Park:
• It’s membership only: Tuhey park is currently free to all (city land paid for by taxpayer dollars - - ALL taxpayers). The current plan will take up approximately ⅓-½ of the park for paying YMCA members.
• It’s not public access: Tuhey is city land paid for by taxpayer dollars - - ALL taxpayers.
• It’s a slippery slope: We don’t want to create a precedent of the city giving away public land to private entities.
• It’s gone forever: There will be no reclaiming this land once it’s turned into an asphalt slab with a 60,000 square foot building. What do we want our legacy to be?
• Is the site plan safe?: Children and families coming and going from surrounding neighborhoods to pool and play may have to cross parking lots on north and south sides of the park.
• Is this site really “underused”?: Citizens were not presented with any data from the City to support this statement. Residents whose homes are adjacent to the park have spoken out to say that they see children and families playing and dogs walked in the green space every single day.
• The City already is low on space dedicated to parks: While Muncie provides an average number of parks, the amount of acres dedicated to parkland in the City is the least amount offered per resident in all of Indiana’s second class cities. The current pandemic has heightened the importance of access to open greenspace. See more resources here.
• Does this facility “fit the space”: Meeks Ave is a National Historic District and the Riverside-Normal City Neighborhood Association is actively working to have it locally registered. The YMCA’s plan for its new development does not fit the historic character of the neighborhood. See the plan here.
• The YMCA can manage the public pool and not be co-located: The YMCA took over management of the pool in summer 2020. It does not need to be co-located to make this partnership successful. In fact, the YMCA may not be the best partner to manage the pool. Ball State University offers the only comprehensive bachelor’s degree in aquatics in the United States. Perhaps a more equitable relationship can be developed that helps educate students to the mutual benefit of the City of Muncie.
• There are better options: There are several sites that are not a public park within the center city that could accommodate the YMCA’s development needs.
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