Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced a proposal today to help renovate the University of Saint Francis’ downtown campus. The proposal would be paid for with the City’s Legacy Funds.
Henry says Fort Wayne is a center of education, and the city should capitalize on that benefit. He says "a lot of people don't realize that we have truly a college town. We have over 30,000 college students in this city."
USF plans to further renovate the Scottish Rite Facility on Berry Street, which is now their Performing Arts Center.
The former Chamber of Commerce building next door also needs renovations on all four of its floors to be converted into classrooms, study spaces and offices.
Their school of business will be in the Chamber building, and launch a new risk management and insurance program there.
USF President Sister Elise Kriss says the expansion will bring hundreds of students downtown. But first, they have about 5 million dollars more to raise. She says “we expect the Legacy matching funds to be a catalyst for other donors to help make a university presence in downtown Fort Wayne a reality.”
The proposal still needs approval, and is set to go before city council in the coming weeks.
USF hopes to begin construction later this year.