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EDC highlights enthusiastic endeavors

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

The ‘E’ in EDC clearly stood for enthusiasm Thursday morning.

During the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors meeting, key words like “Stellar” and “groundbreaking” along with “upscale” were used. A pool’s success – and progress made by pooling resources – were praised. Progress was reported by multiple faces in multiple places.

Here’s a recap:

NEW CASTLE AND HENRY COUNTY

New Castle City Councilman Rex Peckinpaugh reported to the EDC board that 1400 plaza continues to progress and will be “a really beautiful addition to our community.” Peckinpaugh added that the Aquatics Center at Baker Park had a record season.

“This has probably been the best year for the pool in years,” Peckinpaugh said. “We had almost 7,000 people visit the pool this year.”

Meanwhile, Henry County Commissioner Kim Cronk said now that the new Ivy Tech wing south of New Castle is complete, officials were focused on putting a new roof on the original part. The local hospital foundation was thanked for its contributions to the new wing.

Progress is evident in Henry County Memorial Park as well, according to Cronk.

“If you drive by, you’ll see they’ve torn the front off the Smith Building,” Cronk said. “That renovation project is going very well. Ground work on the new Expo Center is going on now. A groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Expo Center is scheduled 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25.”

Cronk also said he appreciates Mayor Greg York and the city of New Castle putting new lights and curbs around Henry County Courthouse.

“It looks very impressive and by working together, we accomplish a lot. We’re proud of the relationship we have with the city,” Cronk said.

KNIGHTSTOWN

Landon Dean continued the EDC good news with his enthusiastic report on Knightstown.

A member of the Knightstown Town Council, Dean said a recent block party for support of law enforcement drew approximately 2,000 people, about twice what was expected.

Dean also said there was lots of interest being shown in the historic Masonic Building, now being offered for sale. Also, the former Knightstown Elementary School east of Academy Place Apartments has been torn down, and plans are to build 22 “upscale condominiums” there.

“A study showed when people were tired of mowing their yards and wanted to retire, they had no place to go in Knightstown, so they went to Greenfield,” Dean said. “We’re trying to change that.”

Hoosier Gym, site where portions of the hit 1986 movie “Hoosiers” was filmed, continues to draw people here. Dean said 70,000 visitors to the gym was reported within the last year.

MIDDLETOWN

Middletown Town Council President Jake Smith said that, like Spiceland, the community is working on a “single-source trash pick-up plan.”

Smith also said subcommittee meetings on the Middletown-Fall Creek Township merger are going smoothly.

A car show this Saturday and the Fall Fun Fest Sept. 13-14 were also announced by Smith.