More and more residents are taking advantage of the renovated, recently reopened Whetstone Community Center.

More and more residents are taking advantage of the renovated, recently reopened Whetstone Community Center.

"Our attendance is way up," said Mike Watson, the center's recreation supervisor.

Each week, the center sees around 6,000 people use its facilities, Watson said, which is approximately 1,000 more people per week than used the recreation center before it closed its doors for renovations in June 2007.

The renovations updated the original portions of the building and added a 1,360-square-foot community room and a 3,280-square-foot multipurpose room, both of which Watson said community members are renting out for events, as was planned.

And though the community center has been fully functioning since September, there still is work to be done before the center is complete.

In community efforts to raise $500,000 to help the city pay for the nearly $5.5-million in renovations, bricks are being sold through the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce to build a patio in the rear of the center.

Betsy Hubbard, one of the organizers of the fundraising efforts, said bricks still are being sold through the winter, and the patio is expected to be built in the spring.

"It will be the conclusion of that that we consider the project 100 percent done," Hubbard said.

Bricks cost $125 for 4-inch by 8-inch bricks or $300 for 8-inch square bricks. The bricks can be engraved with personalized messages.

Even without selling more bricks, Hubbard said the Whetstone Recreation Initiative, the fundraising group for the center, will have met its contribution to the city.

Hubbard said the group raised $175,000 through monetary donations and donated materials such as furniture. The rest of the contributions came through in-kind donations and labor done by volunteers on the center.

Hubbard said after only a year of fundraising, she's impressed that the community has met its $500,000 goal.

"Now that I have a little distance from that, I think: 'Wow, that's impressive,'" she said.

Hubbard, who was on the forefront of discussions with the city to upgrade the community center renovations as well as the fundraising efforts, said she's pleased to see the community center so well used after all of the hard work that has gone into it.

"What I love is driving down High Street and seeing people using the building," Hubbard said. "I'm just thrilled to see it being used the way we said it would be used."

Also still to come at the recreation center is a wall listing all of the community members who contributed to the center's renovations.

Those interested in making a contribution to the center or purchasing a brick can contact the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce at (614) 262-2790 or can visit the recreation initiative's Web site at www.whetstonepark.org/wri.