Investment lifts Turnstone’s ability to compete on National scale
May 2nd, 2016
April 28, 2016 – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and officials from PNC Bank N.A. toured the new Turnstone Plassman Center today and learned about the facility’s significant economic impact on northeast Indiana.
“A big thank you goes out to the City and PNC for investing millions of dollars in this leading-edge athletic facility,” said Mike Mushett, Turnstone CEO. “The contributions of Federal New Markets Tax Credits from the City and PNC has helped us better serve individuals with disabilities, as well as brought thousands more visitors to the region.”
In addition to touring the facility, the Mayor, along with officials from PNC and the Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalization Fund, wished the U.S. Men’s National Goalball team members good luck on their upcoming visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they will represent Fort Wayne and the United States at the test event for the 2016 Paralympic Games
The newly expanded Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities has transformed the way Fort Wayne can compete for athletic events on a national scale. The facility is unique, being a Gold Club Level of the Paralympic Sport Club Excellence Program, one of ten in the country. To broaden its prestigious reach, Turnstone has started the application process to earn Paralympic training site designation, through the United States Olympic Committee, in the near future.
With increasing activities scheduled for 2016, the nearly $15 million expansion has created momentum for a tourism boost in the region. Turnstone and Visit Fort Wayne project that their new and expanded sports and recreation programming will account for a 253% increase in the number of Turnstone visitors to Fort Wayne, which breaks down to an estimated 3,400 athletes, coaches, and family members arriving in 2016 alone. The visitor increase is anticipated to create new direct tourism spending of nearly $870,000 in 2016.
Last year, the Men’s U.S. National Goalball team relocated to Fort Wayne and made Turnstone its official training facility. Goalball is a team sport designed for blind athletes. In June, Turnstone will host the United States Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Championships, which will draw over 100 elite athletes from around the country and is one of several national competitions to be held there this year.
Financing for the new 125,000 square foot facility included a capital campaign which raised approximately $15 million with private donors and traditional funding including New Markets Tax Credit allocations which helped create needed cash to help finish the construction on schedule.
“Without the support of our financing partners, we would not have been able to open our doors as scheduled said Mike Mushett, Turnstone CEO. “We now have a state-of-the art facility that allows us to better empower individuals with disabilities and their families, which has incredible impact not only for our region, but across the country.”
Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalization Fund, LLC (FWNMRF) partnered with PNC to provide a total of $10 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations; $8 million from FWNMRF and $2 million from PNC. The sale of the tax credits provided cash equity of approximately $2 million in cash for the new facility.
“Fort Wayne New Markets was pleased to be a part of Turnstone’s big dream of becoming a Paralympic training facility. The benefits of the new field house reverberate throughout the community,” said Sharon Feasel, Director FWNMRF.
The cash infusion from the tax credits allowed Turnstone to achieve the capital campaign goal and to refocus on additional fundraising for program support. NMTC is a program to spur revitalization efforts of low-income communities across the United States.
“Turnstone creates opportunities for Fort Wayne to market the unique services it offers and will bring a positive impact to this community,” said Doug Wood, PNC regional president for northern Indiana. “It is now a source of pride for our region as the go-to place for Paralympic athletes and all people with physical disabilities.”
Additional financing included $6 million jointly from Old National, STAR Financial and PNC.
“Old National is proud to partner with Turnstone and other financial institutions to make this facility expansion a reality. Community, Teamwork, and Diversity & Inclusion are company values Old National holds in high regard, and this project encompasses all of these and much more. It is truly a win-win for all involved,” said Wendell Bontrager, Fort Wayne Region President Old National.
“Turnstone is a change agent in our community,” said Jim Marcuccilli, President and CEO of STAR Financial Bank. “This outstanding new facility, as well as the programs and services Turnstone provides are being recognized across the nation. STAR is happy to be a partner in this community investment that is sure to yield positive results.”
To date, the project has allowed Turnstone to add 13 new positions.
Since 1943, Turnstone has offered therapeutic services, an inclusive childcare, an Adult Day program with memory care, and recreational/athletic programs for people with physical disabilities. The new facility includes an Adaptive Sports and Recreation Complex, a warm-water pool for aquatic therapy, and an accessible Health and Wellness Center with additional lockers and changing room that will be used by children and adults with disabilities. The complex also includes four collegiate sized wheelchair basketball courts and a 230-meter indoor track.
“We’ve become a leader in the adaptive sports world and continue to thrive and create new opportunities for athletics in the future. This recognition from the United State Olympic Committee will allow Turnstone to continue to bring great opportunities to people with disabilities and goals of becoming a Paralympic athlete” said Mike Mushett, Turnstone CEO.