Gary, Indiana: A 2016 Winner of a Knight Cities Challenge Grant

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REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE City of Gary, Legacy Foundation and the Knight Foundation announce the $385,000 grant the city will receive for its innovative idea to repurpose building materials after demolition. From l-r: Joseph Van Dyk, Gary Dept. of Planning & Development, Eve Pytel, Dir. Of Strategic Priorities, Delta Institute; Cedric Kuykendall, City of Gary Demolition Coordinator; William Schleizer, CEO of Delta Institute and Carolyn Saxton, President & CEO of the Legacy Foundation.

The city of Gary thanked the Legacy Foundation and the Knight Foundation recently during a Press Conference held at Gary City Hall for their continued support of the city. Gary will be one of 19 cities to share a $5 million grant awarded for innovative ideas.

Gary’s proposal to the Knight Cities Challenge submitted by the Delta Institute was to facilitate the development of a thriving reclaimed building materials market in Gary. By establishing a reuse facility, where the city would be able to store and sell materials; train workers in demolition, deconstruction, warehousing, and furniture-making; provide community collaboration space; and incubate reuse-based businesses. The primary goal is to retain the economic benefits of the building materials for Gary residents rather than export the benefit to other more developed economies such as Chicago.

The Knight Cities Challenge awards $5 million annually for innovative ideas that will make an economic impact in communities. The city of Gary’s share will be $385,000 that will be earmarked for repurposing building materials following demolition. This is the second win for Gary through the Knight Cities Challenge. Gary’s Arthouse: A Social Kitchen won a $650,000 grant in 2015 for the repurposing of an underutilized facility (the former Dusties restaurant).

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson thanked the Knight Foundation and the Legacy Foundation for their continued investment in the city of Gary and for awarding the Delta Institute one of the Knight Cities Challenge grants for 2016. The Mayor stated, “We are excited about the Delta institute’s project as it totally aligns with what we are doing with vacant and abandoned buildings in the city of Gary and the recycling of building materials. Not only is the Delta project greener, but provides and new opportunities for Gary residents to be employed and yet another business in the city of Gary.”

Knight Foundation’s winning projects are based in 19 of the 26 communities where Knight makes investments including: Akron, Ohio; Boulder, Colo.; Columbus, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Gary, Ind.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Long Beach, Calif.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; San Jose, Calif; State College, Pa; and Tallahassee, Fla.

Other winners can be found by visiting knightcities.org.

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