Effort to save Nachand Fieldhouse in Jeffersonville begins

The save the fieldhouse fundraising campaign is starting with a rally. The money will go towards preserving a piece of Jeffersonville history.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- When you look at the walls of the Nachand Fieldhouse in Jeffersonville,  you'll get a sense of the building's past. Black-and-white team photos from the 1950s, a Jeff High Cheerleading uniform framed.

"The nostalgia that you feel when you walk into this building, it’s like going back in time to the movie Hoosiers," Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said.

When you listen to the basketballs bouncing and sneakers squeaking, it’s clear this building still plays a very important role in the present.

"I live a block away from here, so every afternoon I see elementary aged kids dribbling a basketball walking down the sidewalks to get into the Fieldhouse here," Moore said.

But the Nachand Fieldhouse needs some help to make it in the future.

"It’s slowly but surely falling apart," Moore said.

The Jeffersonville landmark, built in 1937, is in need of major updates.

"We need the electrical, is the original from 1937, we need electrical updates. We need some masonry work on the exterior, we need some facade work, we need heating and air. We don’t have air in the building now so in the summer time it’s very difficult to utilize the building," Bill Burns, Chairman Save the Fieldhouse Committee, said.

The Save The Fieldhouse fundraising campaign kicks off May 17, the building's 80th birthday. Chairman of the Committee Bill Burns says they are hoping to raise $1.8 million to help bring the building up to date to last for another 80.

"When I started this I did not realize how special this building was to the community. I can’t go anywhere and not talk to somebody that this building has not touched their life, anywhere from people that are 10 years of age now all the way up to 80-years-old," said Burns.

The Fieldhouse is available for private rentals and has a weight room, exercise classes, volleyball leagues for adults and kids. It is best known for its basketball court. The court Sara Nord started playing on as an 8-year-old girl.

"I had to start on the carpet court over there until I made a little name for myself or got a little respect and I got to move up to the big court, kind of been there ever since," said Sara Nord," Director, Nachand Fieldhouse.

Nord went on to play basketball for the University of Louisville, but now she has gone back to her roots and now serves as director of the Fieldhouse, working to make the building's future as bright as the past.

"To me the Fieldhouse is the community," said Nord.

To learn more about the renovation plans or donate online, click here. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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