MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) — After two years and $1.8 million, the Muncie Fieldhouse has been restored.
Nov. 7 2017, “a day that will never be forgotten” for the Muncie community. It was the day a tornado ripped through the historic fieldhouse.
The westside of the building was hit the hardest by the tornado. When the roof caved in, it set off the sprinkler system, causing flooding. The waters damaged the wood-floor, but some of that floor was saved.
“This is where the worst part of the damage happened,” said Brad DeRom, CFO of Muncie Community Schools (MCS).
The idea to save the floor came from the maintenance and custodial staff that work at the fieldhouse, DeRome said. Not only does the preserved floor serve as a remembrance, but also as a ledge “...to put your coke on” near the concession stand, said DeRome.
The 91-year-old fieldhouse was more than just a basketball court. It hosted everything from classes, car shows and even Muncie’s Christmas Sing. Elanor Roosevelt even sponsored an event at the fieldhouse back in 1939.
The Board of MCS saved a piece of Muncie’s history by restoring the building.
“Muncie needs to maintain its rich history at what we’ve had in the past,” said James Lowe, board member and associate vice president for facilities planning and management at Ball State University.
“Once everyone made the decision to restore [the fieldhouse]...was just bring it back to the place where they could have ball games and events again,” DeRome said.
The first time the Muncie Central High School basketball team got to see the building was team picture day.
“Oh my, it’s beautiful, it’s indescribable to be honest, like looking back to my freshman year, it looks a whole lot better, I love it,” Senior Victor Young said.
And for Head Coach Chandler Thompson, the reveal was a slam-dunk.
“It looks pretty amazing,” Thompson said.
The first basketball game at the fieldhouse will be Tuesday, Dec. 3. The rededication event will take place Friday, Dec. 13.