Hobart's Brickie Bowl remains in play for city officials

2013-03-23T19:55:00Z 2013-07-25T15:13:33Z Hobart's Brickie Bowl remains in play for city officialsDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The city's special events director and her committee are already kicking around ideas for activities and events to stage in the historic Brickie Bowl.

The plans, which include sports events and concerts, can't go forward until the city takes possession of the property, Special Events Coordinator Raeann Trakas said.

Structural improvements, including removing wooden bleachers, are also planned once the city obtains possession.

"It's very exciting. ... We're working on downtown revitalization and that will be a big key. When we have events there it will help the downtown," Trakas said.

Officials from the School City of Hobart, present owners of the Brickie Bowl stadium, and city officials say they prefer of a swap of properties.

The proposed swap would entail the city taking over ownership of the Brickie Bowl and an adjacent parking lot off East Fourth Street.

The school corporation, in exchange, would obtain the city-owned property behind Fire Station No. 1 adjacent to Joan Martin Elementary School on 10th Street. 

The transfer is still in the hands of attorneys representing both sides, School Board President Terry Butler said.

"We have no disagreement about the transfer," Butler said.

City Councilman David Vinzant, D-5th, agreed.

"Both sides want to make it happen. No one is opposed," Vinzant said.

School City Attorney William Longer said he and City Attorney Anthony DeBonis are still working on the transfer paperwork.

Once the transfer is made, there'll still be plenty of work for city officials to complete.

"Once we take it over we want it to be in the kind of shape we can use. ... We're also looking for funding, including through grants," Trakas said.

The School Board considered the possibility of renovating the Brickie Bowl and continuing to use it for football games when the new high school on 10th Street was built a few years ago, Butler said.

However, safety and costs were factored into the decision to move most of the school's sports activities to the new high school.

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