INDIANAPOLIS -- The Salvation Army is suing the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, claiming the museum’s multi-million dollar expansion will permanently deprive the charity of its property rights.
In its lawsuit filed Thursday morning, The Salvation Army claims easements were acquired during a land swap with the museum in 1993.
The charity claims that agreement gave them direct access to Illinois Street and allowed them to use portions of the parking lots for overflow parking during special events.
The museumbroke ground on the $35 million expansion last September. The “Riley Children’s Health Sports Legend Experience” will turn the northern portion of the museum’s Meridian Street property into an outdoor activity zone featuring mini-golf, pedal car race tracks and track and family fitness loops.
According to the lawsuit, the museum never informed The Salvation Army about its plans for the expansion until the public announcement last June. Since then, The Salvation Army claims to have made “several attempts” to resolve the issue but “no meaningful progress” was made towards a resolution.
The Children’s Museum issued a statement on Thursday saying they had been in previous discussions with Salvation Army about a resolution and were working on a solution before the lawsuit was filed.
“We have been engaged in discussions with the Salvation Army about this matter for several months, and have been following in good faith a process that the Salvation Army proposed for gathering data before meeting again to discuss a resolution. Despite having multiple communications with the Salvation Army, we had no notice that they were going to file a lawsuit until this morning. Immediately after receiving their Complaint, our President and CEO contacted the Salvation Army’s leadership and repeated our desire to meet to work out our differences. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with the Salvation Army again.”
The sports expansion project is set to open in the spring of 2018.
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