Legacy Fund Offers $8 Million To Bring Higher Education Downtown (PHOTOS)

By Emma Koch

Legacy Fund Offers $8 Million To Bring Higher Education Downtown (PHOTOS)

March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- The Fort Wayne Legacy Fund is being put to use to help encourage colleges and universities to build permanent campuses in the downtown area.

Fort Wayne officials have announced that the Higher Education Opportunity Fund will provide up to $8 million to help higher educational institutions establish facilities in and around downtown Fort Wayne.

The Legacy Fund, which was created from the sale of City Power & Light, has approximately $47 million with another $28 million expected to accrue from payments over the next 12 years. $30 million of that is set aside for future large projects.

Indiana colleges and universities as well as institutions from surrounding areas have been invited to apply. There is no deadline set for applications but the city will consider applications as they are submitted. The applicant will have to match the money three-to-one.

Some of the criteria that will be considered includes the emphasis on increasing training opportunities in the city's core business district, a minimum project cost of $1 million with a maximum grant from the fund of $3 million, number of jobs created during construction and long-term, number of students using the facility, whether the facility will be a catalyst for additional development and project innovation.

Approved Legacy Fund Projects
In addition to the Higher Education Opportunity Fund, city officials have approved the following projects:
• Riverfront development study - $500,000
• Beautify overpasses into downtown - $700,000
• Beautification of way-finding signs, interchanges and corridor enhancements - $500,000
• Convert Ewing and Fairfield from 1-way to 2-way and roundabout at Superior - $3 million
• Youth/prep sports national recognition study - up to $200,000
• Renovate former McMillen Ice Arena and convert into a community center - $2 million
• A trust that purchases or options downtown properties of strategic value - $1 million
• Local match needed for previously committed federal dollars for city trail projects - $1 million

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