ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. Diane Davis David Hamilton Kathryn Madden David Quade Lynn Richards Eli Spevak Baye Adofo-Wilson Corey Zehngebot

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1 PLAN EAST CHICAGO

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3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to offer a sincere thank you to the members of the East Chicago community that welcomed us into their city and made the successful completion of this report a possibility. We would like to acknowledge the immeasurable hospitality shown by East Chicago residents, whether municipal employees, elected officials, hospitality staff, taxi drivers, or any of the other individuals we had the good fortune of interacting with during our site visit. While it is impossible to name all of the members of the East Chicago community that supported our work, certain individuals deserve particular commendation. They include, but are not limited to: Anthony Copeland, Mayor, East Chicago Maria Becerra, Executive Director, East Chicago Department of Redevelopment Tia Cauley, Director, East Chicago Housing Authority Winna Guzman, Director, East Chicago Buildings Department Emiliano Perez, Chief, East Chicago Fire Departmen Milton Reed, Principal, Global Consulting Solutions William Woodley, Project Manager, The Community Builder We would also like to thank the partner organizations that supported our efforts. They include: The Community Builders Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority ULI Chicago United State Department of Housing and Urban Development University Club of Chicago Finally, we would like to thank members of the Harvard community that provided invaluable feedback throughout the semester. They include: Diane Davis David Hamilton Kathryn Madden David Quade Lynn Richards Eli Spevak Baye Adofo-Wilson Corey Zehngebot Lastly, none of our work would have been possible without the tireless support of our dedicated instructor, Professor Rick Peiser. We thank him for his mentorship and willingness to share his knowledge.

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5 Student Team Young Ae Chung MUP 2015 Christopher Colley MUP 2014 Wei Li MUP 2014 Yani Li MUP 2015 Zhiping Liu MDES 2015 Susan Nguyen MUP 2014 Ning Pei MUP 2015 Thomas Skwierawski MUP 2014 Simon Willet MAUD 2014 Tianyi Yang MUP 2014 Faculty Richard Peiser

6 Table of conte OF CONTENTS Executive Summary: 1-5 Introduction: 9-19 Education: Employment: 31-37

7 Downtown: Housing: Conclusion: Appendices: 71+

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9 Our plan hopes to reshape the Twin City in a way that reflects the strong, unique identity of its residents Executive Summary Since its earliest days, the City of East Chicago has been known as the Twin City. The name, originally coined to denote the two major city neighborhoods, is actually indicative of much more than that alone: in many ways the city seems to hold twin identities. It has strong connections to Chicago, but is also is an important player in Northern Indiana. It is a suburb, yet one with a strong urban fabric. Even though the city s industry provides thousands of quality jobs, the city struggles with unemployment. The city is minutes from the water, but is separated by roads and railroads tracks. Indeed, there are countless reminders, both past and present, of the moniker. Years down the road, however, the hope is that these dual identities will vanish. No longer will people wonder if East Chicago is a city or suburb, Northwest Indiana or Chicagoland. People will not question why, in a town with so many jobs, there are so many unemployed people. People won t ask why there are so many vacancies littering such a beautiful, historic urban fabric. The divisions between waterfront and downtown, North Harbor and East Chicago, will disappear. It will simply be East Chicago: a vibrant and resilient lakefront community, populated by diverse and industrious people, and full of exciting opportunities on the horizon. l 1

10 Our Vision With this in mind, this plan hope to build on the city s assets, using these to overcome the challenges the city will face in the coming years: Source: Our vision is for a diverse and resilient East Chicago, which promotes education, employment, and the environment to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for current and future residents. A new East Chicago will: Source: Source: 1. Improve resident outcomes through the provision of high-quality jobs and education: For East Chicago to prosper now and in the future, new buildings and streetscapes alone will not be enough. East Chicago developed because of industry, and it is vital to harness this rich heritage to develop a holistic approach to improving opportunities for current and future residents. 2. Connect residents to each other, the waterfront, and the region at large: The town serves as a gateway of sorts: to the water, between states, and among key points of commerce. It is crucial that the city does what it can to become a strong and welcoming gateway to help build a more welcoming place for existing residents, and also to create those connections for visitors and future residents. 3. Revitalize the downtown area by improving housing, retail, and recreational opportunities: Another way to improve the city s quality of life is to expand opportunities for enjoyment in the city. New options for retail and recreational spaces will help make East Chicago a destination for visitors, and a more vibrant community for residents. In addition, new housing developments will also help make it a more affordable and comfortable place for residents. 4. Serve as a responsible steward of its natural environment: The environment, notably water, has played and will continue to play a central role in the city s industrial development. It is important that it retains that central role for residents as well: a place of leisure, but also as a resource to protect with responsible management. Plan East Chicago l 2

11 The plan is broken up into four interrelated parts. Taken together, we see these interventions to be a holistic way achieve our vision for the city: improving resident outcomes, quality of life, and the local environment How we hope to achieve this vision Education At the moment, the city is involved in discussions with a local community college to occupy an unused school, north of Guthrie St, in the city s downtown. The potential tenant is Ivy Tech, the largest public provider of higher education in Indiana. This potential move represents a prime opportunity to spark a downtown revitalization. For one, it will create new foot traffic, and variety of different land uses, along the north end of the downtown. Additionally, the partnership will improve city outcomes in ways that go beyond the built environment, having broad impacts on the inventory of human capital throughout the city. With expanded job training and entrepreneurial opportunities, a new East Chicago will reshape the physical and social landscape of the city. Employment Interventions Expanding educational opportunities is not enough. It s also crucial for the city to increase the range of employment opportunities for its residents. Our plan proposes doing so in a few key ways. First, we introduce three key facilities which will utilize existing city assets to promote economic growth and entrepreneurship. In addition, our plan proposes a variety of ways to diversify the economy, embracing cutting-edge new industry types. Taken as a whole, our plan builds on the strong labor history of East Chicago, building diverse new jobs for the city s future. Source: l 3

12 Creating a Strong Downtown Core Our plan looks to reactivate East Chicago s downtown as the functional center of the community. The urban design strategy looks to enliven the streetscape in a way that will encourage density, and create a more cohesive neighborhood identity. The plan s retail strategy looks to add contextappropriate storefronts in a concentrated area, with the hope of creating a retail corridor along the Broadway/Main Street intersection. Lastly, we have proposed a circulation strategy which hopes to ensure efficient movement of residents throughout the city. Housing Finally, we have proposed a comprehensive housing strategy in the downtown. This strategy, which is essential to the success of all others, plans to provide a diverse range of high-quality affordable housing. It looks to contain some of the growth from the Ivy Tech expansion, and also hopes to attract new growth from the region. Along Lake Michigan, the plan proposes a new lakefront community. This dramatic rethinking of the lakefront represents a culmination of the hopes and aspirations of a future East Chicago. Plan East Chicago l 4

13 Proposed master plan aerial view l 5

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15 INTRODUCTION

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17 In many ways, the City of East Chicago embodies its Twin City nickname: it has a rich history, and holds many different identities I. INTRODUCTION History A Tale of the Twin City Since its earliest days, the City of East Chicago has been known as the Twin City. The name, originally coined to denote the city s two major neighborhoods, is actually indicative of much more than that this geographic quirk: in many ways the city seems to hold twin identities. It has strong connections to Chicago, but is also an important player in Northern Indiana. It is a suburb, yet has a strong urban fabric. It is minutes from the water, but is separated by roads and railroads tracks. Indeed, there are countless reminders, both past and present, of the moniker. The city is located roughly 25 miles from Chicago: about 35 minutes away by car and around 1 hour via commuter rail. Together with the neighboring cities of Whiting, Hammond, and Gary, East Chicago has long played an important role in meeting the industrial needs of the greater Chicagoland area. Much of that has had to do with its proximity to water, as the city abuts Lake Michigan, and is bordered by the Grand Calumet River. Strong Industrial Past It is no coincidence that the growth of East Chicago coincided with the introduction of two major industrial facilities: the Standard Oil refinery in 1889 and the Inland Steel facility soon thereafter. These two industries fueled the growth of the city, and cemented its legacy as an important labor center in the Midwest. All along, this legacy has also been one of diversity. Like other cities of its kind, East Chicago grew with the help of strong immigrant populations: in its heyday, 4 of 5 residents were foreign-born, representing over 70 different nationalities. Work helped bring them together, but the city s strong sense of community helped keep them there, as the East Chicago blossomed into a thriving urban community. Industrial Decline Like many industrial cities across the midwest, the 1970s brought about challenging times for East Chicago. As deindustrialization swept through the region, many local factories closed, and many more reduced their workforce. The major steel mill, which employed over 45,000 Proximity to Chicago The Twin City and its neighborhoods Introduction l 9

18 White Black Hispanic Demographics 50,000 37,500 25,000 70% 50% Population East Chicago, IN Racial Composition East Chicago, IN : white black hispanic workers at its peak, now employs less than This is emblematic of the challenges the city has since had to face: as jobs have left the city, so too have many people and businesses. Exciting Rebirth: Change from Within The story of East Chicago, however, is not solely one of decline and disinvestment. Much of its proud past remains with it to this day. The city is still a strong industrial node for the region, with myriad opportunities for stable, quality work. The diversity that has long characterized the city holds true to the present, as it remains a melting pot of many different cultures. Above all, there is a strong sense of optimism, and rightfully so: there are ample reasons to believe the city has what it takes to meet the challenges it faces. Regional Change The city s rebirth has also been driven by regional support, with much of the attention focused on East Chicago s most prized resource, its lakefront. The highlight of this is the Marquette Plan, a comprehensive approach by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) to improve Indiana s waterfronts. So far, the Plan has garnered over $210 million in investments along the coast, and ultimately aims to recapture 75% of Indiana s coastline for pubic use. With the help of RDA funding, the city recently completed a $56 million water filtration plant. The project, which has freed up 10 acres of lakefront property for redevelopment, is just one example of the many ways in which East Chicago has gained the attention of regional leaders. 30% Gary East Chicago Chicago US less than high school Education Attainment population 25 yrs and over high school graduate some college degree Bachelor s Master s degree professional Doctorate degree 17.8% 37.3% 32.5% 8.2% 3.4% 0.4% 0.5% 28.2% 36.1% 27.6% 4.9% 2.4% 0.5% 0.3% 19.5% 23.0% 23.9% 20.1% 9.2% 2.9% 1.4% 14.3% 28.2% 29.0% 17.9% 7.4% 2.0% 1.2% degree Much of that optimism stems from a recent change in leadership. In 2010, Anthony Copeland was elected Mayor of the city, becoming the first African-American to head the office. In the midst of an economic recession and on the heels of a politically turbulent transition, Copeland faced considerable challenges. Thus far, however, his administration has made significant strides, embarking on a variety of projects to stem the tide of disinvestment that has long plagued the city. Clearly, there is reason to be hopeful for the future. Yet there is much work to be done, and many challenges ahead. Curiously enough, and true to its Twin City The Marquette Plan Source: Plan East Chicago l 10

19 Within some of East Chicago s greatest challenges lie its greatest assets. An attentiveness to these key challenges helped guide our plan. Community Builder s downtown project RDA-funded water filtration plant Source: Source: moniker, many of the city s greatest strengths are also its greatest challenges. Strengths + Challenges in the Twin City Employment Although there are not as many jobs as there once were, plenty of quality employment opportunities remain. What was once Inland Steel and Standard Oil are now ArcelorMittal and BP, respectively, two of the most successful industrial firms in the country. These two companies, and the corresponding demands for ancillary industry they create, provide some of the most well-paid skilled labor in the region. Unfortunately, a spatial mismatch exists between the skills required to access jobs in the city and the skills of its residents. Unemployment in the city is well above both national and region averages, and the median household income is quite low. There are a few main reasons for this. One of the major causes has been educational disparities. There is a clear gap in achievement in the city, with a high percentage of residents never graduating from high school. As a result, residents in neighboring communities often fill many jobs in the city. This is also complicated by the existence of an older, experienced workforce, many of whom have worked in skilled labor their whole lives. Both local employees and city officials have noted how this has stifled the job market for younger workers: there are good jobs in the city, they note, but many of them are taken. Yet it this challenge also presents a great opportunity. At some point soon, as the older generations begin to retire, new opportunities will open up for East Chicago residents. The real challenge lies in preparing this younger workforce for the opportunities of the future. Introduction l 11

20 City-owned Parcels Infrastructure East Chicago provides great transportation access through a variety of modes. The city is right off the Borman Expressway, providing easy connections throughout the region. It also has the benefit of a commuter rail station. Located in its southern part of the city, the station boasts some of the highest ridership on the entire South Shore Line, which stretches from downtown Chicago to South Bend, IN. East Chicago s infrastructure also provides ideal connections for local industry, highlighted by an extensive railway system, the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, and nearby I-90. But this infrastructure also serves to fragment the existing street grid. In fact, the city s nickname illustrates this fact, as its two twin neighborhoods were separated by railroad tracks in the early 20th century. Railroad tracks and highways block residents off from one another, themselves, and their natural environment. Looking at a map, one might think Lake Michigan is an easy walk from the North Harbor neighborhood, but the Cline Avenue Expressway and railroad system makes the lakefront inaccessible to pedestrians. It is telling that expressways and busy roads surround the city. At the moment, the city s design is one that prefers the automobile, not the pedestrian. There is a free bus service that exists throughout the city, but its stops are quite limited, and it lacks connectivity to the region at large. Even the commuter rail station is illustrative of the area s automobiledependence: although it has among the highest levels of ridership on the entire South Shore line, much of that is due to the station s parking lot, which is the largest along the entire path. Strong Urban Fabric In some ways, calling East Chicago a suburb is a bit of a misnomer. Unlike many suburbs, especially compared to the rest of Indiana, the city is by no means suburban. It was developed long before conventional suburbs, and its rich cityscape reflects that that. From its Main Street atmosphere and turn of the century buildings to its dense street grid and urban park system, it has many strong assets desired by other communities. Unfortunately, it has also been marred by neglect and disinvestment. Vacancies line East Chicago Waterfront Plan FLEX CASINO MARINA BEACH PARK With the help of the Regional Development Authority (RDA), the city recently began a three-phase effort to improve the waterfront. Phase One: Create a dedicated space for beach parking (Spring 2014) Phase Two: Create a breakwater island to mitigate pollution, and a beach pavilion to encourage local recreation Other planned interventions: MARINA - LOOKING NORTHWEST JEORSE PARK BEACH - LOOKING NORTHEAST WATERFRONT MASTER PLAN A bridge to the waterfront, connecting the North Harbor neighborhood to the lake Expanding the marina to include more boat slips N Source: not known Plan East Chicago l 12

21 many streets in the city, posing both aesthetic and safety concerns for local residents. Along with this, the city lacks the amenities that would allow it to fully capitalize on its urban character. While there are many strong local businesses in the area, there also exists a dearth of investment, particularly in the downtown area, where entire commercial corners sit vacant. The same could be said of the park system which, fortunately, the city has begun to renovatate and upgrade. Perhaps the largest area for growth exists along the waterfront: while there are currently plans in the works for revitalization (see previous page), at the moment these plans are still mostly in the pipeline. Natural Resources Perhaps the most attractive asset for the city is its proximity to the lakefront. There are certainly other cities that look like East Chicago, but there are few that are within such close range of a waterfront. Paradoxically, however, the city has long been disconnected from this asset. require one to traverse an expressway, and, in some cases, up to a dozen train tracks. Indeed, one could likely spend an entire day in the city without realizing such a vital resource was so close by. This physical disconnection has also isolated residents from their natural environment in other ways. The canal system has become, over the years, heavily polluted with chromium, lead, and PBCs, among other contaminants. Over 200kg of contaminants pollute the waters yearly, and there are considerable backlogs of this sediment, both in canal and the lake. The Army Corps of Engineers suggests that these pollutants adversely affect the lives of anyone within 5 miles of the Harbor, which is why the Corps has recently begun to dredge up the much of the backlogged sediment. Even so, it speaks to the environmental degradation of the city s waterways, highlighted once again by BP s recent oil spill. Successful industry is crucial to the future success of East Chicago, but ensuring the protection of this vital resource that residents and businesses alike need to thrive is paramount. An (obstructed) lakefront view towards downtown The obstructions from above Source: Simon Willet In some ways, the disconnections has been quite literal. The North Harbor neighborhood is only a matter of minutes from Lake Michigan at its closest points, roughly 1/5 of a mile away yet the lakefronts remains inaccessible, both to the onlooker and pedestrian. Crossing over to the lake would Introduction l 13

22 Our vision is for a diverse and resilient East Chicago, which promotes education, employment, and the environment to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for current and future residents. Our Vision With these earlier considerations in mind, this plan hopes to build on the city s assets, using them to overcome the many challenges the city will face in the coming years. To help guide our plan, we developed a vision for the future of East Chicago, which we used to inform all of our interventions A new East Chicago will: 1. Improve resident outcomes through the provision of high-quality jobs and education: For East Chicago to prosper, now and in the future, new buildings and streetscapes alone will not be enough. East Chicago became what it is because of industry, and it is vital to harness this rich heritage to develop a holistic approach to improving opportunities for current and future residents. 2. Connect residents to each other, the waterfront, and the region: The town serves as a gateway of sorts: to the water, between states, and among key points of commerce. It is crucial that the city does what it can to become a strong and welcoming gateway to help build a more welcoming place for existing residents, and also to create those connections for visitors and future residents. 3. Revitalize the downtown area by improving housing, retail, and recreational opportunities: Another way to improve the city s quality of life is to expand opportunities for enjoyment in the city. New options for retail and recreational spaces will help make East Chicago a destination for visitors, and a more vibrant community for residents. In addition, new housing developments will also help make it a more affordable and comfortable place for residents. 4. Serve as a responsible steward of its natural environment: The environment, notably water, has played and will continue to play a central role in the city s industrial development. It is important that it retains that central role for residents as well: a place of leisure, but also as a resource to protect with responsible management. Plan East Chicago l 14

23 27 27 CITY OF EAST CHICAGO Plan Waterfront Housing East Chicago Marina (Existing) Waterfront Park Ameristar Casino (Existing) Pedestrian Bridge Connection 1 2 WATERFRONT IVY TECH CAMPUS 12 INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR SCALE: 1 = Water Education Center Industrial Water Hub Performing Arts (Renovation) 17 Local Business Incubator (Renovation) 18 Library / Community Center 19 Downtown Plaza 20 Community Art Gallery Block / Main Street Plaza 22 Downtown Market 23 Senior Housing 24 Co-working Space 25 Single / Multi-family Housing 18 DOWNTOWN Precision Manufacturing Cluster Industrial Complex Water Facility (Existing) Business Incubator / Maker Space Mixed Use - Retail / Residential Ivy Tech Campus Field School (Renovation) Amphitheater / Multi-Use Field Movie Theater Ivy Tech Student Center East Chicago 2035 plan Introduction l 15

24 Our interventions seek to build upon our vision, and these four key principles, to help create an East Chicago that improves resident outcomes, connections, the downtown, and the environment Outcomes 1. Expand learning outcomes through an Ivy Tech partnership 2. Provide opportunities for skilled-labor training with a business incubator and a maker space 3. Diversify the economy through the creation of a number of diverse businesses Ivy Tech s De La Garza campus Ivy Tech students at work A professor mentoring a student at Ivy Tech Plan East Chicago l 16 Source: Source: Source:

25 Connections 4. Improve access to the waterfront with a pedestrian bridge 5. Increase transit ridership with a nonstop bus route to and from South Shore Station 6. Leverage existing and proposed fiber networks to benefit residents and businesses East Chicago Proposed connections to the marina South Shore line Existing fiber-optic line Source: not known Existing Fiber Line Proposed Fiber Line Source: City of East Chicago Introduction l 17

26 Downtown 7. Beautify the downtown with urban design and landscape strategies 8. Encourage retail, recreational and cultural development along Main St. + Broadway 9. Facilitate residential development to accomodate various housing needs Downtown East Chicago Activated downtown streets New residential development Plan East Chicago l 18 Source: unkown

27 Environment 10. Encourage innovation and responsible management of the region s water supply with a water exploration center and industrial hub 11. Increase resident interactions with the waterfront through lakefront developments and recreational infrastructure Source: Protecting a valuable natural asset A waterfront communtiy Activity along the lakefront Introduction l 19

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29 EDUCATION

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31 The planned addition of Ivy Tech Community College to the downtown represents a prime opportunity to expand job opportunities for residents II. EDUCATION Potential Ivy Tech Expansion Background Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is an educational institution serving almost 120,000 students across the Hoosier state. Founded in 1963, the college now has 30 campuses in 14 regions across Indiana and is not only the state s largest institution of higher education, but also the nation s largest statewide community college system. In addition to traditional academic programming, Ivy Tech prides itself on its efforts to link graduates 300, , , , ,000 50, Total Enrollment Full Time Enrollment Ivy Tech enrollment over the years Source: with employment opportunities, an effort supplemented through their Corporate College initiative. Ivy Tech offers a wide variety of academic programs at its many campuses. Each of these programs contribute to the Institution s stated mission to make Indiana great through programs that: ensure that students achieve their educational goals; ensure that Indiana s citizens, workforce, and businesses are globally competitive; ensure optimal quality and efficiencies statewide; and ensure an adequate and sustainable resource base. The East Chicago campus is part of its Northwest Region, a sector that serves 15,000 students annually. The Foundations of East Chicago De La Garza Campus along East Columbus Drive provides programs in 29 subjects, many of which are tailored to the skills and needs of the community. These programs vary greatly, and include subjects such as automotive service and technology, building construction management, early childhood education, industrial technology, and software development. Ivy Tech offers degrees programs in over 75 subjects. These include: Advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, chemical technology, computer science, database management and administration, electrical engineering technology, energy technology, HVAC technology, industrial technology, machine tool technology, and supply chain management. Expanding Educational Assets Although Ivy Tech already has a presence in East Chicago, the rapid growth of the location and increasing space constraints has led the institution to search for a new facility within the city.. The East Chicago government has facilitated this move by renovating the Field School, a recently decommissioned elementary school, for future use by Ivy Tech. The expansion of Ivy Tech into this facility is the cornerstone of our plan to re-envision this area as an educational hub capable of delivering new skills and broader economic opportunities to the people of East Chicago and the region. Given Ivy Tech s commitment to offering services that complement the existing skill sets of local residents, this expansion provides an opportunity to implement programs that directly fit in with industries Ivy Tech l 23

32 proposed throughout the plan. The programs implemented should complement and expand upon those already offered at East Chicago s existing Ivy Tech campus, and include an emphasis on manufacturing, environment, and technology. This will not only help educate East Chicago residents for the next-generation of jobs that will emerge at nearby multinational corporations like ArcelorMittal and BP, but will also help build entrepreneurs who can further diversify the economy. While the Field School is a great starting point for Ivy Tech s expansion into the North Harbor, the surrounding area offers an opportunity for further expansion of academic facilities. The proposed plan calls for 279,200 new square feet of academic space. The city should encourage Ivy Tech to locate a research center in these buildings that would complement both existing and proposed economic Current Ivy Tech campus; Field School location activities. Ivy Tech s Advanced Manufacturing Institute would be an ideal candidate for this endeavor, as would facilities accommodating faculty members specializing in water and resource management or industrial design. Ivy Tech, as they continue to expand their enrollment, should be encouraged to do so in these parcels surrounding the Field School, creating a critical mass of educational activity that benefits the city s economy and built environment. Expansion of this sort was conducted recently in Michigan City, where Ivy Tech expanded its Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics program into a building it had purchased and rehabilitated. This intervention increased tax revenue for the city, while delivering employable skills to local residents who enrolled. Proposed Ivy Tech North Harbor Campus Downtown Impact Creating a Campus Environment While the expansion of Ivy Tech to the Field School and beyond presents an opportunity to expand the city s educational prowess, it also offers an opportunity to create a new sense of place centered around the new East Chicago campus. Because of increasingly vacant public housing in the immediate proximity of the school and a large inventory of publicly owned land, the existing Field School can be leveraged to not only be a source of educational infrastructure; it can also become the heart of a campus environment that will revitalize and reimagine Guthrie Street. Our plan to create a campus environment around the Field School is three-pronged. First, we aim to create a diverse open space network of active and passive recreational spaces. These spaces could be used by residents and students alike, bettering the built environment by offering spaces that facilitate a wide range of activities. Whether by supporting athletics and healthy living with fields for different sporting activities, supporting the arts through the provision of an amphitheater, or simply building community with spaces conducive to relaxation and casual interaction, these spaces will fortify the sense of place created by the expansion of Ivy Tech into the Field School. Plan East Chicago l 24

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