Culinary school proposed for former hall of fame

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2014 at 11:28 am •  Published: April 23, 2014

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — City officials are backing a proposal to transform the former College Football Hall of Fame museum in downtown South Bend into a new culinary education center for Ivy Tech Community College.

Under the Culinary Center Coalition's plan, the museum would undergo a $6 million remodeling to include bakeries and kitchens, along with areas where students could test and practice methods of urban agriculture.

The city's Redevelopment Commission is scheduled on Thursday to consider taking the building off the market for six months so that Ivy Tech officials can review the plans and pursue funding options.

Moving to the Hall of Fame building would raise the profile of Ivy Tech's culinary program and enable enrollment to double to about 450 students, said Thomas Coley, the college's regional chancellor.

"We think it would be a major draw and bring activity downtown," he told the South Bend Tribune. "It's an opportunity to try to think big but do it in a very prudent and deliberate manner. We believe it could really be a difference maker in downtown South Bend."

The building has been largely vacant since the museum closed at the end of 2012 as the Hall of Fame moved to Atlanta after 17 years in South Bend, following years of low attendance.