REC Center Update #5: Construction Costs Funded

Rush County residents have dreamed of a community center for decades. Timing and circumstances never seemed to align. Until now. With construction costs fully funded, the REC Center is happening. Construction will begin in the 2023 with a completion date expected in the second half of 2024.


To recap, the REC Center (Recreation, Education, Collaboration) will be an all-in-one resource for many of our community’s needs. It will be located at the site of the former Walmart building at 1850 North Main Street in Rushville. With 52,000 square feet of existing building and 27,000 square feet of new construction, the property will be completely transformed. (Read all of the updates.)


The center will house an indoor pool, fitness center, basketball court, walking/running track, and childcare/preschool center. It will include the new, expanded homes of the Rushville Public Library and Rush County Community Assistance Food Pantry, including a commercial kitchen for classes. There will be offices for social service agencies, including WIC, ICAP, Rush County Senior Citizens Center and Firefly Children & Family Alliance. Having all of these organizations under one roof will make accessing help much easier. The opportunities for programming between organizations are limitless.


Guests will enter through a corridor, known as “Main Street” that connects all services and amenities. A staff member will be on hand to welcome and direct visitors. There will be a small café and plenty of formal and informal meeting and gathering spaces for the community’s use. Internet access will be available to all. A portion of the parking lot will be transformed into a festive space for gatherings.


REC Center Floor Plan

Click on the floorplan to see a full screen version.


“I like to point out that two years ago, we didn’t have a penny,” smiled Rush County Economic Community Development Corporation (ECDC) Director, John McCane. “If plans all come together as we are anticipating, we should have financial commitments of $24 million to carry out this transformative project.


Funding sources include:


The steering committee consists of McCane, Mike Pavey (Mayor of Rushville), Ron Jarman (County Commissioner), Gerald Mohr (RCCF interim executive director), Phil King (RCCF board member), Bill Herdrich (local business owner), and Dan Moster (Rushville native). They meet weekly via Zoom with consultants from Triangle 2, architects from GBBN, and representatives of Weddle Brothers Construction. In October, Rushville resident Bruce Carter, became the President of Weddle Brothers. “It’s really nice having Bruce and his team in charge of the project. I know a lot of thought and care will go into it. He’s been a real asset,” said McCane.


So much consideration has been put into this design. The agencies have worked closely with GBBN to create the spaces around their needs. Each organization will be able to expand the services and programming they are currently providing. The food pantry will offer a separate entrance to ensure privacy and dignity. The pool will be divided into two sections – one for lap swimming including therapeutic jets and the other for recreation, being mindful of the many needs of the community. Plans include providing water safety to all Rush County students through physical education classes. These are just a few examples of the intentionality behind this project.


Dan Moster’s parents were notable local philanthropists, Dick and Sue. The Mosters not only dreamed of a community center but provided for it financially through their estate. Although he no longer lives in Rush County, he is committed to seeing his parents’ wish fulfilled. Moster knows from his own personal and professional experience how much benefit a center like this can provide. “This makes me really happy knowing that it’s going to happen. Friends and family in Rush County have no idea what they’re about to experience. That and my parents are what has kept me involved,” he shared. “And the beauty of this type of facility, is that it can change over time. You get to that point where demand and interest expand. The Main Street design opens the door to where a lot of partnerships can thrive. Being able to partner with organizations outside can take this whole project to levels we haven’t even dreamed of yet,” Moster added.


Collaboration is the key to this innovative approach through all aspects of the project. “We’ve invested in the center for the future. It will help economic development and everything in our community for years to come, but mostly the kids that are yet to even be in the school system,” noted Gerald Mohr.


The next phase will be to raise funds for an endowment that will support the ongoing expenses. If you’d like to donate, please get in touch with Mohr at or (765) 938-1177. Every dollar helps! Even if you’re unable to contribute financially, please help to spread the word.


Check out latest design images (download pdf). Aren’t they amazing?! Of course, these are subject to change, but offer an exciting glimpse into what the future holds.

Click on an image to see it full screen in a new tab. Use the arrows at the bottom to see more.

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