By COURTNEY ROGERS / Indy Parks
Superhero trainings, moonlight madness egg hunts, gingerbread house building. For the past two decades, the Broad Ripple Park Family Center has been the home of programs and activities created for families to have fun together and make memories that will last a lifetime.
The space has served as a popular destination since it was built. First as a library, and then as a family center – where park visitors have been welcomed and encouraged to discover fitness, recreation, and activities with their family and friends. Ever since opening its doors in 2003, the Family Center has provided something for everyone.
But now, it’s a bittersweet summer at Broad Ripple Park. If you’ve stopped by recently, you’ve seen the hustle and bustle of close to 50 day campers and the near constant stream of dog park visitors and their furry, energetic companions. You may have seen people coming to the park for painting classes, dance classes, and the Summer Concert and Movie Series. You’ve also noticed the construction crews and the activity. The Family Center has been torn down to make room for something new.
Back in 2019, after an exhaustive public input process, we shared the plans for the new, reimagined family center at Broad Ripple Park, and we are thrilled that construction has started. The new facility will include a gymnasium and upgraded fitness areas, which will expand programming opportunities for park visitors. Basketball, volleyball, pickleball. Dance, Zumba, fitness, and karate classes. There will be an indoor walking track, group meeting space, multi-purpose rooms, and a children’s play area.
The possibilities for recreation in the new space are truly endless. Construction is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2022, and our park staff is already dreaming up new programs that make the most of this unique space.
Part of our mission at Indy Parks is to connect communities by providing places and experiences that inspire healthy living. That emphasis on health and wellness is why we have partnered with Community Health Network to include a clinic on the site of the new family center. The opening of the clinic will allow us to serve our community and our neighbors in even bigger ways.
The new family center is a piece of the Broad Ripple Park Master Plan, which outlines our vision for the park’s next 20 years. We started the master plan process in spring 2018, making sure the public was involved in every step. The plan sets aside dedicated space within the park for athletics, special events, environmental education, and open areas to gather with friends. It calls for a larger indoor aquatics center and enhanced access to the White River, with an overlook, canoe and boat access, and a riverwalk. You can read more on the park’s master plan here. http://www.broadrippleparkmasterplan.com/
With every new idea we had for the family center and the park, and in every step of the planning process, we thought about the people who would benefit from these upgrades. More than 300,000 people visit Broad Ripple Park each year, and these new spaces are for them. We can’t wait to update you throughout the construction process and to eventually invite you inside.
RENDERING ABOVE: The new Family Center at Broad Ripple Park will include a gymnasium and upgraded fitness areas, which will expand programming opportunities for park visitors.