REC Center Update #4: Collaborators, Funding, and Timing

Large-scale projects, like a multi-purpose community center, take a lot of work and three crucial elements to get off the ground and completed – collaboration, money, and time.

But as the saying goes, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.”

Need a refresher on the REC Center project? Find a recap and the latest designs here.



A team effort is necessary to bring this project to life. The City of Rushville purchased the former Walmart building (1850 N. Main Street) and has generously donated it to be the REC Center’s home. The Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation is the lead agency overseeing design and construction. A dedicated committee representing various stakeholders meets weekly. Architectural firm, GBBN, has provided the design, and Weddle Brothers Construction will build it.


GBBN has shared its latest design images. Of course, these are subject to change, but offer an exciting glimpse into what the future holds.

A partnership with an existing YMCA is required for opening a facility under that brand. Many discussions have taken place, but the timing just isn’t right for this partnership. The REC Center will move forward with an independent plan to manage the recreational component that will offer similar services and experiences. Triangle2 is a research and planning firm that conducted a market feasibility study prior to RCCF submitting the grant to Lilly Endowment. They fully believe in the REC Center and have agreed to lead this portion of the project.



The total cost for this project is approximately $21 million. In addition to the $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment, news of an additional funding source was announced in January. Rushville and Rush County are part of the “Accelerate Rural Indiana” regional cohort to receive a $20 million award, known as the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), from the State of Indiana.  These READI dollars will be divided between all partners – Rushville/Rush County, Shelbyville/Shelby County, Greensburg/Decatur County, and the City of Batesville. The REC Center has been identified as Rush County’s lead project by all involved stakeholders and should receive a yet-to-be-determined allocation from READI funds.


Another source of financial support is New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). The NMTC program helps communities like ours attract private investors by offering federal tax credits. This is a competitive application, and the committee has contracted with an expert in the field to assist in the process. The Community Development Entity submitted an application for NMTCs for the REC Center project on January 13. Announcement for NMTC awards will occur in Winter 2022.


Local funders include RCCF, the Rushville Public Library, the aforementioned building donation from the City of Rushville, Rush Memorial Hospital, Rush County, Diamond Pet Foods, the Herdrich Family, and the Buchanan Family Foundation. RCCF donor Wilma Jo Kile established the Ebert H. and Bessie M. Schroeder Fund to support the REC Center. It’s important to note that no new taxes will be imposed on city or county residents to pay for this project. A capital campaign will launch mid-to-late 2022, providing local families and individuals the opportunity to commit financially to the building and sustainability of the REC Center.



While the public has not seen any visible progress, work behind the scenes is in full swing! Hopes are for a groundbreaking in late 2022 or early 2023. Your patience and enthusiasm are greatly appreciated! For updates and the latest news, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and sign up for our newsletter.

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