Bloomington: Waldron Ownership Returns to City, Eight Focus Groups Explore Building’s Future Uses

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Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington again became the owner of the building known as the Waldron Art Center in late January, after Ivy Tech Community College transferred title back to the City as per notice provided in May 2020.  Ivy Tech had owned and operated the building at 122 South Walnut Street as a community art center since 2010, when it was conveyed by the City for that purpose.  Per the agreement made at that time, the deed's reversion to the City did not involve any financial exchange.  Contracts for utilities and maintenance services have also transferred from Ivy Tech to the City, as applicable.  City staff have obtained an appraisal of the property's value and reviewed proposals for the building from some interested organizations.  Staff are continuing to assess the building's structural and mechanical systems and perform a cost analysis of necessary repairs, maintenance, and ongoing operating costs.

Mayor John Hamilton convened the Waldron Recommendation Task Force in November to evaluate the building and make short- and long-term recommendations for its use.  The 19-member advisory group has met twice since November and has interviewed around 100 community members grouped according to the following areas of interest in or expertise related to the functionality of the facility:
The task force is co-chaired by Miah Michaelsen, Deputy Director of the Indiana Arts Commission, and Valerie Peña, Assistant Vice President/Chief of Staff for the Office of Government Relations & Economic Engagement at Indiana University.  Additional members of the task force and updates about their activities are posted at https://bloomington.in.gov/waldron. Recommendations for the building's future use are anticipated by April.

Built in 1915, the building served as Bloomington's City Hall and subsequently housed the City's police and fire departments until the City deeded the property in 1990 to the Bloomington Area Arts Council.  Since then, the building has provided space for exhibitions, art instruction and performances and since 1994 has been the home of WFHB Community Radio.  Bloomington's Old City Hall building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Courthouse Square Historic District.stats

Filed Under: Government, City

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