News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 12, 2012

Testing the market?

Boys & Girls Club places ‘For Sale’ sign in front of 3rd Street building; wants to consolidate programs

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club has put a “for sale” sign outside its property at 220 N. Third St.

“We’re putting it out there and seeing what happens,” said Jimmy Smith, the club’s executive director.

The club wants to consolidate its entire operation to 13th and Locust streets, the former Chauncey Rose Middle School, where it began operating earlier this year. “We can’t do that until we get that [North Third Street] property sold. We don’t have the finances to put in another gym,” Smith said.

Also, the main Chauncey Rose school building needs to be torn down.

“The sooner we can sell [property at 220 N. Third St.], the sooner we can expand at our current location,” Smith said. “We can’t operate with just one gym” at the Chauncey Rose site.

The Vigo County School Corp. donated the entire Chauncey Rose Middle School property to the Boys and Girls Club after the school closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

The Boys and Girls Club offices and after-school programs are located at the new site. The only program offered at the North Third Street facility is basketball, which also is offered at the new site.

Smith would not disclose the asking price for property at 220 N. Third St. “If people call, we’ll talk about it. It’s not something I want to put out there,” he said.

The club had been talking to Indiana State University, which had approached them at one point. That interest appears to have “fizzled,” Smith said.

The property at 220 N. Third St. and a parking lot across Second Street to the west are being sold together, Smith said. They are not being split up.

ISU has been interested in the parking lot across Second Street, Smith said. Currently, ISU leases parking space at the 220 N. Third Street location and across Second Street. Those leases are good through the end of the academic year, Smith said.

  ISU parking is allowed from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., when those vehicles must be moved to accommodate the club’s basketball program.

Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs, said ISU is interested in the property, but “at this point, it would be a considerable investment for us. … It’s not something we’re pursuing.”

At this time, “it’s too much of an investment,” she said.

The ISU Foundation has in the past purchased properties of interest to ISU for its strategic needs. “Typically, we don’t buy something unless the university says that’s something it wants to acquire,” said Ron Carpenter, ISU Foundation president.

If ISU doesn’t consider the price of something “reasonable, they won’t ask us to pursue it,” Carpenter said.

ISU’s Master Plan does call for the relocation of several athletic facilities to property near campus and west of Third Street.

The foundation, through Sycamore Foundation Holdings Inc., has purchased other properties in the area.  

The sign outside 220 N. Third St. says simply, “For Sale,” and the THBGC telephone number at 812-232-2046. The agency is not working with a Realtor at this point, Smith said.

If people are interested in acquiring the property, “They need to call the Boys and Girls Club,” Smith said. The group is eager to sell, but, “We’ve got to get the right price.”

He also noted, “We’ve had some inquiries.”

The facility at 220 N. Third St. has two gyms, and the parking lot across Second Street has about 200 spaces, he said.

The club has a property management committee that has met. Ultimately, the board will decide who to sell the property to and at what price.

Smith said things are going “really well” at the new site at 13th and Locust streets, and he estimates that participation in the after-school program has doubled.

“Things are good,” he said.

Olive Garden will cater a Christmas Party for THBGC students and staff later this month.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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