An indoor sports complex off Interstate 69, a YMCA in downtown Princeton and a tweaked "E is for Everyone" campaign are among the beneficiaries of state economic stimulus dollars.

Southwest Indiana received $50 million from state government's READI program (Regional Economic + Acceleration Development Initiative). Five recipients of $14.6 million were announced recently by the Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

The state dollars are intended to kickstart projects that bring population growth to areas where it's been stagnant.

Larger projects funded by READI will need additional public or private money to complete. This round of grant recipients does not include a new riverfront development for Evansville, although that's one idea on the table.

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The goal of READI-funded projects is to make Southwest Indiana "a nationally recognized place for talent to call home," said Beth McFadin Higgins, RDA chair.

Warrick County Sports Center, $5 million

Planned for the Warrick Wellness Trail off I-69 and Indiana 66, this 230,000-square-foot complex will strive to bring travel youth and college sports activity while also being available for local residents' use.

It'll be equipped for track and field, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and pickleball, plus turf sports activities and non-sports events.

Next steps for the complex involve land acquisition, which officials hope to complete by the end of this year, said Steve Roelle, executive director of Success Warrick County.

Some type of public financing − either from a tax increment financing district or a property tax phase-in − will be sought from Warrick County, Roelle said. A naming rights agreement with a private sector entity also is likely.

ls for a spring 2023 groundbreaking, with construction taking about a year.

“It’s an incredibly aggressive complex from a design standpoint,” Eric Marvin, president of the Evansville Sports Corp., said last year. “It really sets us up for national championship opportunities, especially when you look at the track and field side of the complex, the spectator seating, the track layout, how everything plays together.”

Toyota YMCA, Gibson County, $5 million

The YMCA in Princeton is planned for a former elementary school site. It will have a fitness facility, gymnasium, competition-sized swimming pool, a teaching kitchen, a community room and a wing for youth activities. Toyota Indiana last year announced a $1 million donation.

The District, Gibson County, $2.5 million

Described as "workforce housing," this 144-unit apartment development is planned near Toyota and its suppliers.

Regional Marketing Strategy, $2 million

E is for Everyone was rolled out five years ago. According to the RDA news release, this $2 million will use "E is for Everyone existing framework to enhance a unified branding campaign that tells the Evansville region’s best story and delivers personalized stories to attract and retain talent."

Site Development Plan, $100,000

This money is for starting "many master plans along our transportation corridors that will allow future development needs in economic development and begin expansion opportunities for existing companies to grow in the region," according to the RDA.

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