The Halteman Village neighborhood is coming together with hopes of renovating their neighborhood after recent closures.
Located on the north side of Muncie, the neighborhood has had to deal with many changes throughout the last few years. Mitchell Elementary School and the the Halteman Swim Club both closed, leaving the neighborhood without these key community sites. Because of this, Heather Williams from Building Better Neighborhoods - a Ball State organization that provides resources and connections from the university to local neighborhood associations - says residents are looking to re-establish their community connection.
“Halteman has lost that personal connection, so what they’re looking to do is gain that back through the development of a park in the neighborhood,” Williams said. “That really gives them a space for gathering where they can have events; they can have picnics, and it brings people together and helps build community,” Williams said.
While this desire for a community park is only a dream right now, the residents are banding together to make it a reality. The neighborhood association has been actively campaigning at city hall meetings to make their desire known. J.P. Hall, vice president of the neighborhood association, believes it’s up to the community to keep their needs at the forefront of the city.
“I think the neighborhood association is a perfect vehicle to help keep those needs in front of the city to be addressed and to stay relevant,” Hall said.
According to Hall, addressing these needs is only going to make Halteman a better neighborhood.
“The neighborhood’s great. I love the neighborhood, but, as with all neighborhoods, they kind of cycle typically. There’s needs; there’s infrastructure and organizational needs of getting everyone on the same page, so I say we are at a crossroads,” Hall said.
The neighborhood association thinks a park is best for the neighborhood because, according to Hall, there are not many parks serving the north side of Muncie. That’s why residents think this development can benefit more people than just the residents in the neighborhood. It can be a park for all of Muncie.
In order to help offset some of the costs the city would have to invest to make this park, the Halteman Village Neighborhood Association just established itself of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Hall says that was a must to move this idea forward.
“These projects always come down to money, unfortunately. Since we are a 501(c)3, this will help us effectively raise money and go for grants; this all comes down to funding, but that 501(c)3 status was a necessary step in this because people can donate money to the project because it’s tax deductible for them,” Hall said.
So far, the Muncie Redevelopment Commission has paid all the back taxes on the abandoned pool which means any kind of redevelopment and updates can start now.