Indianapolis News and Headlines


Mayor Hogsett announces Old Citizens Energy coke plant to be site of new Community Justice Campus

Posted at 1:43 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 13:21:03-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday that the proposed new Marion County Community Justice Campus will be built on the site of the former Citizens Energy coke plant on the east side,

The Community Justice Campus has been in the works for years, but has faced numerous roadblocks. The Indianapolis City-County Council's Rules & Public Policy Committee rejected a proposal in 2015 to send a vote to the full council on a $1-billion facility at the old GM stamping plant on the west side.

Councilors who opposed that plan said a financial analysis suggested it would create a budget shortfall of tens of millions of dollars each year.

MORE | Committee votes down proposed criminal justice complex

Mayor Joe Hogsett has made a renewed effort to complete the project as part of an overall shift in Marion County's criminal justice system.

"For nearly a century in the Twin Aire neighborhood, the former Citizens Energy Coke Plant helped fuel the steel industry. But since operations ceased in 2007, that land has stood vacant and the neighborhood has yearned for community development and investment. Today is a testament to the community members and neighborhood leaders who tirelessly advocated for the Community Justice Campus in Twin Aire," said Mayor Hogsett.

The complex is now envisioned as a $500 million campus to include a new jail, new courts and facilities for treatment of mental health issues.

MORE | Mayor Hogsett proposes building a new criminal justice campus, focus on non-violent offenders

The city said earlier this month it had narrowed down the site search to three locations: one near the Indianapolis International Airport; the former RCA/Thomson plant at Sherman Park on the Near Eastside; and the old Citizens Energy coke plant.

The Marion County Circuit and Superior courts released a brief statement Monday afternoon expressing their support for the process of selecting the new justice complex location:

"The Marion Circuit and Superior Court Judges support the efforts of the Mayor and the City County Council in arriving at a location for the new Marion County Justice Center that is the best solution for all parties, partners, and stakeholders.  We recognize there are no easy answers to the problems facing the court system and we appreciate the work, time, and skill the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force has put forth to arrive at this site decision.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor, Council, and the Task Force to address the many questions that remain regarding the new justice center project."

The coke plant building encompasses 112 acres at 2900 Prospect Street. Like the former RCA plant, the city will have to conduct an environmental rehabilitation of the site before construction of the criminal justice center could begin.