The city of Anderson has created a committee to determine if a deteriorating 9,000-seat former high school gymnasium known as the Wigwam can be saved.
Former Muncie Central High School basketball coach Terry Thimlar proposed putting an NBA Development League team in the gym, The Herald Bulletin reported. He is a former general manager and assistant coach of the Florida Flame, a defunct Development League team that was based in Fort Myers, Fla.
Thimlar, who now serves as a sporting event coordinator, said the building is too much of a community icon to be demolished.
“We have a plan for the Wigwam to be used in a lot of different ways,” he said. “One of the possibilities would be a D-League team, but it’s much more than that. Right now our major focus is to bring it back to life and make it a viable entity.”
Thimlar said he hopes for the gym to be used for trade shows, concerts, high school games and NBA exhibition games.
Anderson Community Schools officials closed the building in 2011 as part of a wider budget-cutting plan that included eliminating 65 teachers’ jobs. The gym opened in 1961 and was the second-largest high school basketball venue in the country.
Director of Economic Development Greg Winkler said the school has told the committee that if the Wigwam is not rehabilitated within the next year, it will be demolished.