MUNCIE — Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns is not an Indiana native, but he has quickly learned how much basketball means in this state. Mearns was a regular at Ball State men's and women's basketball games, and he was looking forward to seeing a Muncie Central game at the Muncie Fieldhouse, which is one of state's oldest gyms.
But the tornado that swept through Muncie in November 2017 — just as the high school basketball season was about to begin — rendered the building unusable for the entire season.
The Muncie Fieldhouse, which still has a sizable hole in the roof by the west entrance, already faced an uncertain future. If House Bill 1315 passes in the special session of the Legislature in Indianapolis on Monday, giving Ball State control of Muncie Community Schools, that will put the fate of the historic gym in the hands of a Ball State-appointed school board.
"If there is going to be an exciting solution for the Muncie Fieldhouse, it’s going to require a community effort and a community investment," Mearns recently told the Star Press. "If House Bill 1315 passes and the university takes on this new responsibility, I recognize the Muncie Fieldhouse is one of the challenges that this whole project faces, and perhaps we can mobilize a community effort to restore it to its glory."