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WJBD - Local News - Family Fun Center Proposed For Salem Armory

The bumper car feature that would be one of the activities at the proposed Family Fun Center.

Minature Bowling is another feature of the proposed Family Fun Center.

Large play feature that would be available at the center.

Family Fun Center Proposed For Salem Armory

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Salem Armory could become a Family Fun Center. 

John Andrews who is working with the city on a plan to reuse the vacant Armory says he has been able to purchase a complete family fun center that was forced out of business in Indiana when they lost their lease.  The city will begin the process of creating a special use permit to allow the redevelopment at Monday's city council meeting.  

Andrews says he looked at a number of ideas to use the large amount of space in the Armory before developing the Family Fun Center concept.  "This project will encompass the entire building.  I'm trying to give Salem something to do.  Everyone says we need something to do in Salem.  This is it.  This is a place to come as family as kids to come play, exercise and get out of the house.," said Andrews.

Andrews says a wide variety of activities will be available.  "Bumper cars, laser tag, miniature bowling, climbing systems, a number of other things including arcade.  Craigo's is going to come in and cook food there for us.  It will be Italian style, subs and pizzas," explained Andrews.  He says this would be a second location for Craigo's as they would remain at their current location as well. 

Andrews reports the outright purchase of the entire Indiana business also includes 360 chairs and tables, an entry way, and even lighting.   Andrews feels there is adequate parking, with 138 spaces being available before they do anything.  He is looking at an admission charge for those 17 and under, with parents being able to attend for free to get the entire family involved. 

Three rooms would be set aside for parties.  Other offices would be made available to non-profit organizations.  His primary business U.S. Sonet would utilize a garage area to store cable and equipment currently housed away from their East Main Street location.  Andrews says the main offices of U.S. Sonet would not move. 

His goal is to be able to open the Family Fun Center around September first.  Tentative house have been set for five to nine on Thursday evening, five to ten on Friday, ten to ten on Saturday and noon until nine on Sundays. 

Under the city's zoning process, citizens will have a chance to express their feelings about a special use permit being granted for the project.  Andrews hopes the neighborhood will welcome them.  In addition to the zoning change, Andrews will also be seeking a revolving loan from the city for the project.  

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