Residents have ideas aplenty for Yard acre
The city of Grandview Heights already has received a plethora of suggestions from residents for potential uses of civic space at the Grandview Yard development.
More ideas were offered at a town hall meeting Aug. 22 at the Edison Intermediate-Middle School commons.
As part of the development agreement with Nationwide Realty Investors, developer of the Yard, one acre in the project area will be donated to the city.
The location of the civic space has not yet been determined, and it could end up being spread among multiple locations and involve multiple uses, Director of Administration/ Economic Development Patrik Bowman said.
The city also has an option to purchase an additional acre, he said.
NRI will have the right to approve any potential civic use, Bowman said.
"They seem willing to open it up to a lot of things. It is almost limitless what it could be" as long as it fits in with the development and is not too costly, he said.
The ideas suggested by those attending the meeting include:
* An indoor swimming facility that could be used by Grandview's school swimming teams as well as the public. This idea was voiced by several representatives of the swim teams, who noted an indoor pool would draw people from other communities.
* A community garden that, unlike the Wallace Gardens at Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Avenue, could be used by people from outside Grandview and Marble Cliff.
Bowman noted NRI intends to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for the Yard.
NRI is working on having the Yard become one of the first certified Green Neighborhoods in the state, Mayor Ray DeGraw said.
* A community center that could include not only meeting space for local groups, but an indoor pool, basketball courts and a track.
There's no doubt Grandview needs a community center, DeGraw said, but "we most likely could not support a center without the help of other communities" or a tax levy.
"The cost is just too much," he said. "We're not big enough to support it ourselves."
At one time, there was some discussion about Grandview, Marble Cliff and Upper Arlington joining together to build a community center, but a major roadblock was figuring out a centralized location convenient to residents in each community, he said.
* Grandview Heights Public Library Director Mary Ludlum and Assistant Director Rebecca Felkner proposed some sort of library presence on the civic land.
That could include everything from a 24-hour book drop to a kiosk or vending machine through which patrons could have access to library materials, or even a new library branch, Ludlum said.
A community center could include a room that would have set hours for library activities and concerts and at other times be used by community groups, Felkner said.
"The library is sort of an unofficial community center," she said.
* A dog park.
One resident suggested that with so many good ideas, it would make sense for the city to purchase the additional acre.
Buying the second acre likely would cost the city about $500,000, DeGraw said.
Bowman said any and all ideas are invited and can be submitted to him by mail to Ideas, 1016 Grandview Ave., Columbus 43212 or by email to pbowman@grandview heights.org.
The deadline for submitting ideas is 5 p.m. Sept. 21.
All ideas that are received will be presented at a community meeting in October, Bowman said.
A panel will be formed to work with council to review all ideas and winnow them to a list of practical options, he said.