Thanks to generous support by the City of Hammond and Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr., development of the Purdue University Calumet Athletics Complex, announced originally in 2011, is commencing.
The complex (above photo) will be developed in phases. The $5+ million first phase features construction of artificial surface soccer, baseball and softball fields. Subsequent development calls for the addition of six tennis courts; walking path; and a plaza area to include restrooms, concessions/refreshments area, press box, athletic training facility and service/storage/utility buildings.
Development of the athletics complex is part of a wide-ranging partnership between Purdue Calumet and the City of Hammond. While the City takes the lead in funding the complex, Purdue Calumet is directing its support toward city and regional economic development and cultural initiatives.
Purdue University Calumet and the City of Hammond will enjoy public, state-of-the-art sports facilities in softball, baseball, soccer and tennis, as well as a walking path along the entire park,” McDermott said. “Purdue Calumet is a major asset to the entire region. As mayor of the largest city in the region, I feel this partnership is critical to the future of our area, residents and the university.”
Plans call for the soccer, baseball and softball fields to be completed by next August for use by Purdue Calumet teams during the fall season of the 2014-15 intercollegiate athletics year. Further planning has yet to be finalized.
“The development of a truly viable outdoor complex for our expanded athletics program is one of several components that, when ultimately combined, will produce a stronger, richer and more appealing Purdue University Calumet,” Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “It is exciting to be able to take this next step of development, thanks to the support and vision of Mayor McDermott and our corporate partners.”
McDermott views the athletics complex as another mutually beneficial opportunity to advance Hammond. “This complex is the latest in a series of improvements and investments in which Purdue Calumet and the city have collaborated for the betterment of Hammond,” the mayor said. “The pending commercialization and manufacturing centers also offer great potential, as does the relationship established with the Towle Theater. Working together, we can achieve even more!”
In addition to university men’s and women’s soccer squads beginning play at Dowling Park next fall, baseball and softball teams also likely will play a limited number of games before competing in a full schedule during spring 2015. All athletic facilities will be available for use by the city when Purdue Calumet activity is not scheduled.
“The mission of Purdue University Calumet athletics is to guide and support our students in their quest to achieve academic, athletic and social excellence,” Purdue Calumet Athletics Director Rick Costello said. “The Purdue University Calumet Athletics Complex will enable us to continue to recruit outstanding student athletes. Quite simply, new athletic facilities will allow our athletics program to compete for excellence now and in the future.”
Dowling Park is located in Hammond’s Hessville section, one mile southeast of campus, east of Kennedy Avenue and just north of Interstate 80/94. Purdue Calumet fields 12 varsity sports programs.
In addition to men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and softball, Peregrines teams compete in men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball and men’s golf.
Comments of . . . Purdue University Calumet Athletics Complex Corporate Partners
(Purdue University Calumet alumnus and Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott inside the Jean Shepherd Community Center immediately following the ground breaking of Purdue University Calumet's outdoor athletics complex in Hammond/Dowling Park in the Hessville neighbor of Hammond, on Monday, December 9, 2013)
“Purdue University Calumet and the City of Hammond will enjoy public, state-of-the-art sports facilities in softball, baseball, soccer and tennis, as well as a walking path along the entire park. Purdue Calumet is a major asset to the entire region. As mayor of the largest city in the region, I feel this partnership is critical to the future of our area, residents and the university.”
Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. Mayor, City of Hammond
“Fifth Third Bank is proud to expand its ongoing partnership with Purdue University Calumet to include sponsorship of the Peregrines’ softball field. This is a great evolution of our work together, and we look forward to seeing it come to life by hosting students, athletes and residents of Northwest Indiana.”
Craig Pratt Market Executive, Fifth Third Bank of Northwest Indiana
“Community Hospital and Purdue University Calumet have had a strong partnership for many years. We are proud to expand the relationship and help support the new outdoor sports facility serving student athletes in our region.”
Donald P. Fesko, FACHE Chief Executive Officer, Community Hospital
“Albert’s Diamond Jewelers and the entire Halpern family are excited and honored to be part of the beginning of what we know will be an incredibly beneficial addition to Purdue Calumet and our entire community. As the adage goes, diamonds last forever; we’re proud to be part of a bigger diamond here today and an even bigger piece of forever.”
Josh Halpern President & Co-Owner, Albert’s Diamond Jewelers
“PepsiCo is honored to be the exclusive beverage partner for Purdue University Calumet. We are thrilled to be a part of the groundbreaking events for the new Dowling Park and look forward to engaging in many more student and athletic initiatives in the upcoming years.”
Kevin Desmond, Sr. Sales Manager, PepsiCo Foodservice
“The Times is proud to support this unique partnership between Purdue University Calumet and the City of Hammond. It is a testimony of how varying parts of our government can work together for the good of all. I am pleased to salute Purdue Calumet, Mayor McDermott and the City of Hammond for setting an example of productive cooperation.”
Chris White Publisher, The Times Media Company
(photos: courtesy of Jay Stevens)
In perhaps the shortest ever bridge dedication of its kind, hastened by a below freezing temperature and even colder wind chills, the new Indianapolis Avenue bridge that links Hammond with East Chicago, was dedicated Monday afternoon.
Jim Pinkerton, Communications Director for the Indiana Department of Transportation Northwest District started the dedication promptly at 12:30 p.m. introducing the line-up of guests including Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, Representative Ed Soliday. Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland, Hammond City Council members and other local officials.
Lt. Governor Ellspermann (above photo) was the first to address the assembled crowd of construction and steel workers, local government officials and media, saying "the project demonstrates great cooperation between INDOT, local officials and economic development officials." Ellspermann said the new bridge meets two needs, "safety and efficiency" but also by improving the bridge's elevation over the switch yard, will facilitate future expansion in the area.
(photo: L to R; East Chicago mayor Anthony Copeland, Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, Indiana Lt. governor Sue Ellspermann and 4th District Represenative Ed Soliday)
Before introducing the two mayors to speak Pinkerton unveiled two memorial plaques (above photo) that will be placed on each side of the bridge.
Mayor McDermott (above photo) went on to thank INDOT, the contractors working on the project to finish the bridge ahead of schedule thereby less inconveniencing businesses that depend on the traffic flowing between the two cities. Acknowledging the project was "pushed" along by Governor Pence's office, the mayor of East Chicago and himself McDermott said, " we make great things happen in a short amount of time."
East Chicago Mayor (above photo with Mayor McDermott) spoke next said "...this bridge represents the...glue that combines the two cities together." Mayor Copeland said that he and Mayor McDermott are, "...stand here united as mayors saying that we know the economic costs that could have been suffered." Copeland symbolically said that crossing over the bridge will reunite the two communities that were severed while the work was being done, "...our communities will always stand as one and this bridge is a testament to that."
Just before the actual ribbon cutting, 4th District Representative Ed Soliday (above photo) praised the cooperation of the state saying, "...we've been able to get over $400 million more dollars this year to do projects just like this." Representative Soliday said that infrastructure is, "the key to our economy, key to great communities like East Chicago and Hammond."
(above photo: the ribbon cutting of the new nine span bridge in Hammond on Monday, December 9, 2013)
According to INDOT, the 1200 foot long new Nine Span Bridge was completed ahead of scheduled and opens to traffic today. The expedited reconnection of this link between the cities of Hammond and East Chicago is vital, as the Nine Span Bridge is one of the busiest north-south routes in the region. More than 20,000 vehicles a day use the bridge.
The original Nine Span Bridge, constructed in the mid-1930s, was one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. Portions from the iconic structure were saved and stored for future use on a trail project or other low traffic thoroughfare, if a community is interested in the next ten years.
Dunnet Bay Construction of Glendale Heights, Illinois was awarded the $18 million contract for both the bridge's demolition and the building of the new span..
For Nine Span Bridge demolition and construction pictures, videos, and more visit INDOT’s social media channels at http://www.YouTube.com/IndianaDOT, www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest, and www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can listen to the entire bridge dedication ceremony by selecting the News Audio On Demand link at: http://www.regionnewsteam.com
(photos/provided by Jay Stevens)
(Photos Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office; Above:
Shawn Sobolewski. Below: Brandon Montano)
A total of five suspects have now been charged for their alleged involvement in two separate robberies and burglaries that occurred in LaPorte County in mid-May and July. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office announced today 34 year old Shawn Sobolewski, 20 year old Brandon Montano, 18 year old Jonathan Surber and 16 year old Bryan Parish, all from Michigan City, are charged in the May 17th burglary and robbery in the 56-hundred West block of County Road 300 North. Authorities report Parish will be charged as an adult, and along with Montano, also faces a charge of criminal confinement
(Above: Jonathan Surber. Below: Bryan Parish)
Meanwhile Sobolewski, Montano, Surber and 18 year old Jeremy Montano, are charged in the July 4th robbery and burglary that occurred in the ten-thousand West block of County Road 200 South near Westville. Authorities in each burglary, the victim was confined and robbed.
(Above: Jeremy Montano)...
Terms to improve the economic landscape of the Gary/Chicago International Airport were presented today. Marketing & Communications Liaison with the Gary/Chicago International Airport, James Ward III says no decision has been made, but once the documents and terms have been reviewed a meeting will be set in the next couple of weeks.
The proposed terms were negotiated by the Ad Hoc committee with Aviation Facilities Company Inc., of Virginia, and include an investment of 25 million dollars in the first three years and a minimum 30 percent goal for local workforce participation as well as performance incentives for revenue growth, including profit sharing with the airport and the City of Gary. For more information, visit http://garychicagoairport.com/pdf/News%20Release%20GYY%20TERMS%20120913.pdf...
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
Two horses that were abandoned last month at 241st Avenue in Schneider near the LaSalle State Fish and Wildlife Area have been adopted together. The Lake County Animal Adoption Center made the announcement today that the two horses, who were discovered on November 3rd very malnourished are now thriving. Lake County Sheriff John Buncich would like to thank the community for their overwhelming response to this issue and the willingness to adopt these two animals....
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