Architect wants to find use for shuttered high school gym in Indiana

June 6, 2012
9,000-seat facility at Anderson High School is known as the Wigwam

From The Anderson Herald-Bulletin: An architect is pursuing options for the shuttered gymnasium at Anderson High School in Anderson, Ind., including using it as a convention center. Jesse J. Wilkerson has asked the city to help fund a $10,000 feasibility study for the gym, known as the Wigwam. Wilkerson says the 50-year-old complex, believed to be the second largest high school gym in the nation, could be turned into a convention center, offering concerts, events, classes and more. The school board closed the 9,000-seat facility last year to save $500,000 in personnel and utility costs.

March 2009...from The Indianapolis Star: The Wigwam, a huge and iconic high school gymnasium in Anderson, Ind., will stay open despite a massive cost-cutting plan approved by the School Board. The board has accepted an advisory panel's recommendations to close two elementary schools and a middle school, and relocate the district's vocational alternative school programs to the rooms ringing the Wigwam. School administration offices, which are now in those rooms, will move to another site. Built in 1961 during the golden era of Indiana high school basketball, the nearly 9,000-seat Wigwam has long been the pride of Anderson but now is rarely even a third full. School officials had pondered closing the Wigwam as the once-booming General Motors factory town struggles with poverty, high unemployment and underperforming schools. Read more.

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