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College Football Hall of Fame to become culinary center

Ivy Tech has plans to make the former College Football Hall of Fame into a unique foodie destination for downtown South Bend.

The school is currently in negotiations to purchase the old Hall of Fame from the city of South Bend. 

Once the building is purchased, an Ivy Tech campaign committee hopes to raise $10 million ($8 million for renovation and $2 million in endowments for operating costs and maintenance) to transform the former football museum into a CAFE (Culinary Arts and Food Education) Center, according to Leigh Ann Jacobson, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech.

The center will provide Ivy Tech students a space to study hospitality, beverage management, nutrition, culinary sustainability and more, Jacobson said.

The center will also provide an opportunity for the community to get involved in sustainability projects like aquaponics, which is a way to produce food through raising plants in water fertilized by small animals such as fish.

Proposed plans for the center show an aquaculture tank, hydroponic dome and training kitchen and classrooms.

The project is supported by a lead gift from Dick and Donna Pfeil, Granger residents and founders of the Culinary Center Coalition.

Jacobson said she’s not sure exactly when the culinary center will open, but the campaign committee hopes to raise the $10 million needed over the next 18 to 24 months.

To find out more about this project and to see a 3D tour of the planned culinary center, visit

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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