By 2015, Nine13sports was a team of three employees who had developed a strong working relationship with a few different school districts who saw the benefits of the Kids Riding Bikes programming being provided to their students. That summer we were invited by Indianapolis Public Schools to move into some excess space at Shortridge High School. During our 3 years at 34th & Meridian our team and equipment grew to match the demand for our programming in the community and by 2018 we were in need of larger space.
Referred to as “The Depot,” the building located at 29th & the Canal has served as our home and a resource for the surrounding Near Northwest neighborhoods since 2019. The Depot serves as secure garage space where our fleet of vehicles, trailers, bicycles fleets and other equipment is stored and maintained as well as our staff offices. The property has a fascinating history with our portion of the building dating back over 60 years. When we first took possession of the space however, there was much work to be done to develop the space into an appropriate hub for our programming operations that span across 10 counties.
After the previous tenant removed their possessions we reconnected water, gas, and electrical service and also removed over 2,000 pounds of excess conduit and water piping from the ceiling. From there new lighting was installed and we quickly realized a new roof was needed before we could begin building the office space necessary for business operations.
To enable our Kids Building Bikes mobile classroom to roll out to program sites more easily we enlarged the south garage door and led the efforts to have over 150 vehicles removed from the grounds. This step was one of many that focused on creating a safer and more appealing property for the times our location is used as a multi-use community gathering space and for on-site programming.
As work continued on the surrounding property and once the building was weather tight, our conference room, offices, community meeting space, break room and bicycle repair shop were constructed. And because our success is built on a foundation of collaboration and community partnership we have created an atmosphere that tells that story. Throughout the space we feature photos of how we use the bicycle as an educational tool, the students who benefit from our programming and the partnerships that support our work.