Regional Cities Initiative to Support Two More Projects in Southwest Indiana

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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INDIANAPOLIS (April 12, 2017) – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support the development of the Warrick Wellness Pathways in Newburgh and the expansion of WNIN Public Media in Evansville.

“Indiana is a top destination for business, and through the Regional Cities Initiative, we are transforming our approach to economic development by increasing our focus on talent retention and attraction,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. “These projects in southwest Indiana will enhance the region’s quality of place, helping to support continued economic growth and talent retention and attraction while boosting wellness and community engagement.”

WARRICK WELLNESS PATHWAYS
The Warrick Wellness Pathways project will add nearly 12 miles of trails through six segments that will connect to existing trails and bike lanes in Warrick County. In addition to the six segments, four trailheads will be added in strategic locations to serve trail users.

The new pathways will be connected to the Warrick County Wellness Trail, the Rivertown Trail in Newburgh, Castle High School, Castle Middle School North and South, the recently-approved Terrence A. Friedman Park and the Victoria National Golf Club and Lifestyle Development. The first two segments of the pathways, which are along Anderson Road North and Vann Road will be complete by December 2018 and the remaining segments will be complete by April 2020.

Total Project Investment: $10 million
State funding: $2 million

“The purpose of Warrick Trails is to promote a safe and healthy environment and to improve the quality of life for all residents and visitors of Warrick County,” said Connie Rubrecht, Warrick Trails Project Partner volunteer. “The Trails will provide safe biking and walking routes in Warrick County and reduce traffic so our community can enjoy a new way to travel to parks, schools, ball fields and gathering spots. Finally, the Trails will serve as an incentive to retain our young residents and attract potential employees to the area.”

“In Warrick County, efforts are being made to take the theme of connectivity by designing a trail system that will be attractive to residents and especially to millennials who have a renewed interest in healthy living,” said Beth McFadin Higgins, president of the Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

WNIN MOVE TO MAIN
WNIN Tri-State Public Media will build a public media center in downtown Evansville at 44 Main St. to increase community engagement and amplify the voices of the region. Plans include construction of new radio and television studios, as well as a small public theater that will allow WNIN to screen PBS and locally-produced original programming in an interactive environment. The facility will also house a digital video studio that will enable WNIN to produce new digital content such as podcasts, episodes and webinars, connecting southwest Indiana to the rest of the world.

The public media center will enable WNIN to play an even larger role in educating the region’s students by expanding their involvement with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, the Signature School, University of Southern Indiana, University of Evansville and Ivy Tech Southwest. Construction of the new media center is scheduled to be complete by July 2017.

Total Project Investment: $3.8 million
State funding: $500,000

“The new WNIN Public Media Center will become a more engaging community asset through the development of a new interactive cinema-style theater, a radio music hall, and an improved reading center for the more than 70 volunteers who come each week to read newspapers to the sight impaired,” said Brad Kimmel, president and chief executive officer of WNIN. “Regional Cities Initiative funding will allow us to fully accomplish the goals of this expansion to provide a unique regional asset available to all.”

“WNIN has always been a quality asset to our region,” said McFadin Higgins. “With the move to Main Street in downtown Evansville, WNIN will be able to engage more residents through its new location and offerings to a growing population focused on connectedness.”

Regional Cities Initiative in Southwest Indiana:
These projects were recommended for funding by the Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and are part of the region’s Indiana’s Great Southwest plan, which outlines a goal of 11 regional development projects in four counties totaling $926 million in quality of place investments.

Southwest Indiana was one of three Indiana regions selected to receive state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative, which will allocate a total of $126 million toward 100 quality of place projects totaling more than $2 billion in combined state, local and private investment in order to retain and attract top talent to the Hoosier state.

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Media Contacts: 
Greg Wathen (Southwest) – 812.423.2020 or gwathen@southwestindiana.org
Abby Gras (IEDC) – 317.232.8845 or agras@iedc.in.gov

About Indiana Regional Cities Initiative
The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative sets a framework for neighboring communities across the state to work together to develop regional visions that are supported by compelling strategic plans focused on quality of place. The initiative will help each region develop a positive and unique national brand to advance the goal of becoming a destination for talent. Passed in 2015 with bipartisan support by the Indiana General Assembly, the initiative is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. To learn more visit www.IndianaRegionalCities.com or follow on Twitter at @Indiana_EDC, #INRegionalCities