Crusader Staff Report
It’s going to take a lot of money to get ’s Hudson-Campbell Sports & Fitness Center back in shape.
On Tuesday, April 19th the Common Council unanimously approved a $175,000 project budget increase to fund a rehabilitation project for the Hudson-Campbell Sports & Fitness Center in downtown Gary. The grand total for the project is $2.62 million.
In an 8-0 vote, the council approved a new ordinance that would pay for the rehab costs that are more than what was originally budgeted. Second District Councilman Michael Protho was absent.
The funds will come from a Community Block Development Grant.
As part of the rehab project, the building’s exterior will receive a fresh coat of paint. On the inside, improvements will be made to the building’s running track and basketball court.
The rehab project began April 3 and will take about five months to complete.
Located at 455 N. Massachusetts St., the fitness center is a city-owned facility managed by the Gary Parks Department. In addition to fitness equipment, the facility offers popular group fitness classes and sports events. A portion of the building houses the administrative offices of the Parks Department.
However, Parks Department offices will not be rehabbed during the project, though officials say the area is also long overdue for an update.
Original plans were to power wash the exterior of the building instead of painting it, but Community Development Director Arlene Colvin said the building might become dirty too quickly since it’s located near U.S. Steel’s Gary Works plant, located just a half mile north.
The Hudson-Campbell Sports & Fitness Center was built in 1986. Along with the Marquette Park Pavilion and South Gleason Golf Course, the fitness center is one of three revenue-generating facilities managed by the park district.
The 85,000 sq. foot facility offers a variety of sports courts, including tennis, basketball, volleyball, and racquetball. The facility also houses weight rooms, walking and jogging tracks, saunas, whirlpools, and a steam room. For years the facility’s condition declined and several amenities are unusable because of needed costly repairs.
The facility offers memberships and recreation programs. According to the Gary Parks and Recreation Master Plan in 2009, the facility is underused and very costly to maintain.
To revitalize this aging facility and create a new revenue stream that could generate the income needed to properly maintain it, the Gary Parks and Recreation Department once suggested converting the sports and fitness center into an indoor soccer facility that could be rented out to regional soccer clubs for games, tournaments and practice.