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Turnstone rezoning to allow expansion

Planners give OK; City Council next

A building project that caters to people with disabilities received approval Monday on a multimillion-dollar development.

Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities Inc., 3320 N. Clinton St, wants to move forward with a $14.1 million expansion, allowing sporting and related activities at the campus to grow.

The Fort Wayne Plan Commission approved the project Monday. Turnstone still needs the City Council to approve a request to rezone the 3300 to 3400 blocks of North Clinton Street and the west side of the 3200 to 4200 blocks of Spy Run Avenue from single-family residential and general commercial to limited retail and commercial.

Turnstone is north of Penn Place subdivision. The panel will vote on Turnstone’s request in coming weeks.

City officials also have to greenlight the reconstruction of Livingston Avenue, near Spy Run. The project would allow a second entrance and exit at the nonprofit’s location.

On Monday, Turnstone CEO Nancy Louraine said the organization envisions a 125,000-square-foot addition, featuring a new fieldhouse with a warm-water therapy pool and related equipment, health and wellness space, and associated offices.

“Our fundraising campaign is going well, and we have over $7 million right now. We hope to break ground in late June.”

Louraine said the complex would be the fourth-largest Paralympics sports club in the United States, serving 2,000 people and their families annually.

Most of Turnstone’s $4 million annual budget comes from donations. The expansion would result in the organization’s 75-person staff adding up to 20 new workers with a $40,000 median salary.

Turnstone provides therapeutic, educational, wellness and recreation programs for children and adults with disabilities.

The center is touted as the only one of its kind in the Midwest. Anyone within a 150-mile radius of the complex can use its resources.

About 200 area students compete on Turnstone’s athletic teams, which include wheelchair basketball, power soccer, tennis, sled hockey, fencing, kayaking and archery.