ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A proposal to build a High School Basketball Hall of Fame in central Kentucky has gotten the approval of a tourism board.
The News-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/1a9uST4 ) reports the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau voted Wednesday to commit $200,000 for the project, which organizers plan to locate in in the city's downtown.
Tourism board members say the proposed hall of fame is likely to attract out-of-town visitors.
"I'm not a basketball fan," said Tourism Commissioner Carl Swope. "I'm a downtown Elizabethtown fan."
The money would be paid in increments. There will be an initial payment of $50,000, with another $50,000 added within 18 months to help with construction costs. After the hall is complete, it would receive the final $100,000, which would help with operating expenses and help offset any possible revenue shortfalls.
Former high school coach Mike Pollio is leading fundraising efforts and said the hall is committed to helping the city with downtown redevelopment efforts.
He said he has been evaluating several buildings in the downtown area and one option — the former First Presbyterian Church property, which is near City Hall, would be particuarlarly fitting since the facility will be a cathedral for the sport.
"Basketball is like a religion in Kentucky," he said.
Real estate agent Hardin McLane, who is also a former coach, said the facility will tap into stories that make high school basketball special because it has touched entire communities, who gather regularly for games.
"It was a social gathering," he said.
Information from: The News-Enterprise, http://www.thenewsenterprise.com