Muncie News

RACER Trust, Ross Community Center, Inc., Reach Agreement for Sale of Land in Muncie, IN

MUNCIE, IN - November 17th 2015 — RACER Trust and Ross Community Center, Inc. have come to terms on the sale of approximately six acres of the former GM Manual Transmissions of Muncie property off West 8th Street on the Southside of Muncie.

The land, former employee parking, will be converted to baseball fields and other recreational facilities for youth, families and the community at large. Design of the new facilities is expected to begin in January 2016 with phase 1 construction beginning mid-year 2016.

“We are very pleased to help fulfill the Ross Community Center’s desire to provide additional recreational opportunities for the Southside and surrounding neighborhoods, and about the potential for this project to spur additional investment and economic development for the community,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET, LLC, Administrative Trustee of RACER Trust. “Our mission at RACER is to maximize the redevelopment potential of our properties and serve as a catalyst for community-supported growth. The benefits of a community resource such as this are evident.”

The parking areas are south of West 8th Street, bordered by South Elliott Street to the east and South Sampson Avenue to the west, and abut current Ross Community Center recreational areas.

The remainder of the former Manual Transmissions of Muncie property, approximately 60 acres on the north side of West 8th Street, remains available for purchase and redevelopment.

“It is clear that communities with abundant recreational resources are communities that thrive and grow,” said Megan Quirk, President of Ross Community Center, Inc. “We’re extremely excited to make such positive contributions to the quality of life in Muncie, continuing to build and grow a strong, consistent organization at the Ross Community Center, and look forward to providing individuals, families, and children of our community with a beautiful space to gather, play, and enjoy life. We are working together to build a stronger Muncie.”

 “Team sports are vital to the successful growth of our youth,” said Jud Fisher, President of the Ball Brothers Foundation, which has committed funding to efforts across the Muncie community that empower youth and support neighborhood development. “Without question, team athletics foster fair play and a competitive spirit. But, the real end game in team sports is recognized in the higher grades, educational attainment, self-esteem, healthy peer-to-peer relationships, family attachment and risky behavior avoidance of the athletes. The loss of Muncie Transmission has been profound, especially in and around the Thomas Park/Avondale neighborhood. We see a great collaborative opportunity at the Ross Community Center, based on a longstanding youth baseball program.”

The Ball Brothers Foundation of Muncie in the fall 2015 grant cycle committed for two years a total of $145,000 to support the business and employee operations of the Ross Community Center. Since 2011, the Foundation has granted over $640,000 to the Ross Community Center to support existing baseball programs and to build-out a new baseball facility.

“I congratulate and thank the leadership of the Ross Community Center and RACER Trust for their collaboration on behalf of the residents of Muncie,” Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler said. “Megan Quirk and other Ross Community Center leaders believe, and I agree, that new recreational facilities along West 8th Street will be a great starting point for the rejuvenation of the Thomas Park/Avondale neighborhood, the Southside and the City of Muncie. These are more than ball fields. New facilities like this are a signal to all that Muncie is a place that welcomes and serves families and individuals with a great quality of life. I’m confident this will encourage reinvestment and new activity for the Southside and Downtown areas of Muncie.”

“Acquisition of the former Muncie Transmission parking lots is just a first step in the building of our field of dreams,” Ms. Quirk added. “The Ross Community Center’s goal, aside from strengthening our day-to-day neighborhood community center programs, is to build a nationally recognized premier youth 12 and under tournament baseball facility. The cooperation of RACER Trust, the City of Muncie and the seed funding from the Ball Brothers Foundation is a solid beginning to a larger community collaborative effort required to build and operate legacy home run fields for generations to come. The Ross Community Center and the surrounding neighborhoods are grateful to begin so strong with cooperative partners.”


About RACER Trust: The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the Trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The Trust, which is independent, was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining Trust property in Massena, NY. For more information, please visit


About Ross Community Center, Inc.: The mission of the Ross Community Center, Inc. is to build community and lessen neighborhood tensions by providing and promoting programs, services, and activities for the advancement of education, health, and wellness in our diverse community. For more information, please visit

The Steeldrivers To Headline FREE Concert in Muncie, IN


Muncie, Indiana – July 1, 2015 – 3-time Grammy nominees The Steeldrivers will perform a FREE outdoor concert as part of the 2015 Muncie Three Trails Music Series. The concert will take place at 7 PM on Saturday, July 25th at Canan Commons (500 S. Walnut St.) in Muncie, Indiana.

The Steeldrivers music is a braid of bluegrass roots with new threads of their own design, weaving country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create what country superstar Vince Gill calls “an incredible combination”. Since the release of debut album The Steeldrivers in 2008, the band has been nominated for 3 Grammys, 4 IBMA awards, and has won the Americana Music Association’s New Artist of the Year. They are also the only bluegrass outfit to have their music featured on American Idol and covered by pop superstar Adele, who says of the band, “They’re a blues, country, bluegrass swagger band and they are brilliant.”

The Muncie Three Trails Music Series is unique in the state of Indiana as the only annual music series featuring current recording artists of national stature and critical acclaim in free public concerts. Other 2015 Series artists are Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, country music legend Junior Brown, and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker. Full information about the Series and all 2015 artists can be found at

Cintas Building Site Purchased for Community Collaboration


Muncie, Indiana- June 18th, 2015- The Cintas building has a new owner.   The building which sits adjacent to Muncie’s core downtown district is now owned and operated by Sustainable Muncie Corporation, a non-profit entity organized to focus on the economic development of Muncie.  This Cintas program is focused to attract and support makers of all kinds in a destination facility that promotes and enhances innovation, creativity, learning, development, and selling in order to stimulate and expand economic vitality.  The building, which still bears the Cintas name, would allow the community development corporation to foster an environment of collaboration and create conditions for the innovative leveraging of resources of the City of Muncie, Ball State University and IU Health-Ball Memorial Hospital. 

 Discussions around this concept began in October 2014, when Mayor Tyler formed, appointed and charged the Community Development Concept Exploration Committee with examining the concepts of a local maker’s district, in which artisans and manufacturers make distinctively local products; an arts district, in which artists reside in a particular sector of the community and practice their craft; and an innovation district, where technology and innovation-driven start-ups congregate and pursue their ventures.  Early partners in the discussions included representatives from Ball State University, Ivy Tech Community College, Ball Brothers Foundation, Community Foundation, First Merchants Bank, Flatland Resources and Muncie Arts & Culture Council. 

 The Cintas building, which is more than 85,000 square feet, had been vacant for approximately four years and, as the discussions continued, it emerged as a site that could accommodate collaborative ideas for arts and culture, innovation, research and development, demonstration, experimentation and strong community partnerships. 

 This mission of Sustainable Muncie Corporation relies on collaborative partnerships between the community’s anchor institutions (i.e., Ball State University, IU Health-Ball Memorial Hospital, and the City of Muncie), local foundations, non-profit partners and Muncie neighborhoods.  “This inaugural project of Sustainable Muncie focused on the long tradition of maker culture in Muncie can only be a success with the engagement of these key community partners”, said President, Michael Wolfe.  The initiative is firmly rooted in the concept of “primacy of place” – the belief that quality-of-life improvements are one of the most effective ways to create and sustain a vibrant and prosperous community.   

 Ball State University welcomes the opportunity to be one of the community partners of the Sustainable Muncie Corporation in promoting downtown re-development of the former Cintas facility into an emerging “Maker’s Space” for entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, learning and development .   Consistent with Ball State’s refreshed vision in The Centennial Commitment (18 by ’18) to be the most student-centered and community engaged of the 21st century public research universities, the university viewed this one-time capital investment to revitalize the Cintas facility into a public-private partnership for economic development as a great opportunity to support its community-engagement commitment and elevate our participation in Muncie.

Through Ball State’s investment along with other community partners, the Sustainable Muncie Corporation will begin to reconfigure the former Cintas facility so future commercial and private sector tenants can begin leasing the space.   In addition, Ball State University faculty and staff commitment to community engagement and primacy of place projects can apply for short-term funding from the newly created Centennial Commitment Academic Excellence Grants to fund start-up entities in support of this enterprise.

“Ball State University is pleased to join with Mayor Tyler and our community partners in working to revitalize the Cintas facility as a major aspect of downtown  economic development, “said President Paul Ferguson.  “This project has the potential to contribute in a sustainable, meaningful way to One Muncie.” 

Mayor Tyler agrees.  “This initiative is an important project for the Muncie community.  It serves as a unifying linkage between our community, our foundations and our anchor institutions.  The chance to collaborate on the Sustainable Muncie project represents an opportunity to accelerate the transformation of the community in a substantive and strategic manner.”

 When fully operational and successful, the Cintas building operated by Sustainable Muncie would not only be contributing to the vitality and vibrancy of the larger community, but enhancing the value and reputation of the very anchor institutions that gave it life. 

A Message from Mayor Dennis Tyler concerning the Shooting in Charleston, SC

Muncie, Indiana - June 18th, 2015 -The City of Muncie, Indiana is standing in solidarity to share our support and prayers for the community of Charleston, South Carolina and victims, families and friends of the tragedy at the Emanuel AME Church. The Honorable Mayor Dennis Tyler has asked all flags to be flown at half mast for the next 72 hours and City Hall will be lit in orange to honor all victims of gun violence everywhere. Please join us in sharing your support for the community of Charleston and victims of gun violence by wearing the color orange. Thank you, God bless Muncie, God bless Charleston, and God bless the USA! 



Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn To Headline FREE Concert in Muncie, IN

Muncie, Indiana - June 1, 2015 - 15-time Grammy winner Béla Fleck, with his wife, Americana artist Abigail Washburn, will perform in a FREE outdoor concert to start the 2015 Muncie Three Trails Music Series. The concert will take place at 7 PM on Thursday, June 25th at Minnetrista campus (1200 N. Minnetrista Parkway) in Muncie,Indiana.

Béla Fleck is considered to be the best banjo player in the world. Through his explorations of Classical, World, Pop, Country, Folk, Blues, and Jazz, Fleck has revolutionized the banjo by carrying it far beyond traditional Bluegrass, the music with which it is most commonly associated. He has been nominated in more Grammy categories (over 40!) than any artist in Grammy history. Along with his wife, banjoist Abigail Washburn, the duo’s current tour explores a variety of musical genres with striking virtuosity and unparalleled originality. They have played the finest concert halls in the country, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, along with unconventional venues such as the Beijing Olympics. On June 25th, it is Muncie’s turn to welcome this incredible musical team to our city for a free, outdoor concert.

The Muncie Three Trails Music Series is unique in the state of Indiana as the only annual music series featuring current recording artists of national stature and critical acclaim in free public concerts. Other 2015 Series artists are bluegrassers The Steeldrivers, country music legend Junior Brown, and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker. Full information about the Series and all 2015 artists can be found at

It's Officially David Letterman Day

Muncie, Indiana – May 20, 2015

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National Acts Headline 2015 Muncie Three Trails Music Series

Muncie, Indiana – April 14, 2015 – The 2015 Muncie Three Trails Music Series features 4 critically acclaimed national recording artists in a series of FREE concerts. This year’s featured artists include 15-time Grammy winner Béla Fleck, alongside his wife, Americana artist Abigail Washburn, on Thursday, June 25th; bluegrass Grammy nominees and IBMA award winners The Steeldrivers on Saturday July 25th; Country Music Association award winner Junior Brown on Saturday Sept. 5th; and two-time W.C. Handy award winner and Blues Hall-of-Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker on Saturday October 3rd.  All concerts start at 7 PM. The Muncie Three Trails Music Series is unique in the state of Indiana as the only annual concert series featuring recording artists of national stature and widespread critical acclaim in free public performances. All concerts take place outdoors at the Canan Commons performance stage in downtown Muncie or on Minnetrista campus, located just off the White River Greenway trail.  As indicated by its name, the Muncie Three Trails Music Series also encourages attendees to experience the many recreational and cultural amenities Muncie has to offer along the White River Greenway, Cardinal Greenway, and Muncie Arts and Culture Trails. Hence, the slogan for the series is “Explore the Trails, Enjoy the Music”.  The Muncie Three Trails Music Series is a non-profit joint project of the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, the Muncie Arts & Culture Council, and Rick Zeigler, series founder and organizer. Full information can be found at


Rick Zeigler

11525 W. Windsor Road

Parker City, IN 47368

317-430-1452 (cell)

Robert F. Kennedy visited Muncie in May of 1968. The Ball State men’s Gym was selected as the location for Kennedy’s speech; however there was much concern over filling all the seats in the gym. Conversely, the Gym was filled to capacity, with an estimated 9,000 people filling all the seats and the entire playing court, after playing waiting hours for Kennedy’s appearance.

Learn more about the history of Muncie

Office of the Mayor
The Honorable Dennis Tyler

Muncie City Hall
Third Floor
300 N High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
(765) 747-4845
8am - 4pm (M-F)