City of Fort Wayne proposes investing $3 million in Legacy Fort Wayne funds to renovate future USF Downtown Campus

Jan. 10, 2014 FORT WAYNE, Ind. - University of Saint Francis and Fort Wayne officials announced today that they have reached an agreement that will spur development in the heart of the city’s financial and arts districts. The agreement is ready to move to the City Council for approval. The Legacy Fort Wayne funds are a three-to-one matching award, supporting the $12 million USF downtown development plans.

The funds will be used to renovate and upgrade the USF Performing Arts Center, the former Scottish Rite Center at 431 W. Berry St., and the former Fort Wayne Area Chamber of Commerce building adjacent to it at 826 Ewing St. Since 2012, the university has purchased the chamber building and the Scottish Rite with plans to locate its business school and Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) and music technology programs within the buildings. The USF programs compliment the thriving business and arts districts that flourish in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne.

“This Legacy Fort Wayne funding supports our downtown momentum,” said University President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF. “With the grant, upgrades and renovations can be made to create the space, technology and resources our innovative programs require.

“Locating the school of business near the USF Performing Arts Center supports the META program’s development,” she said. “Since META intersects with business courses, locating the study centers near one another creates convenience for our students while partnering with the city to draw visitors to an enhanced downtown. The move also provides more space for the business school’s other programs.”

“The University of Saint Francis has already made a significant commitment to the revitalization of downtown Fort Wayne with the purchase of the former Chamber of Commerce Building and the former Scottish Rite,” said the Mayor. “The university’s plans to renovate these buildings and fill them with 250 to 300 students will advance educational attainment and the continuing positive momentum in our vibrant and exciting downtown. We’re investing in our future with a strong commitment to education and quality of life.”

For more information on the proposed funding agreement, visit the Fort Wayne website at

  The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

Media Contacts

For all University-related matters, please contact:

Trois Hart
Associate Vice President of Marketing
T: 260.399.8050
C: 260.415.2401

Yvonne Schroeder
Director of Communication
T: 260.399.7700 ext. 6413

Sandie Phalen
Director of Marketing and Development
Crown Point
T: 219.488.8888 ext. 5421


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