The updated master plan for Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave., is nearing its final phase.

Bexley's Recreation Board unanimously approved the plan Sept. 5 and Bexley City Council is scheduled to vote Sept. 25 on the third and final reading of a resolution that would adopt the plan.

Since April, the Jeffrey Mansion Master Plan Refresh Committee has been working with Columbus-based consulting firm Schooley Caldwell to update the 2008 Jeffrey Mansion master plan before an expansion that the city and the Bexley Community Foundation announced last year moves forward.

While working to update the plan, the committee held two public workshops to gather residents' input.

"It's the culmination of working with the (Bexley Recreation) and Parks Department, the steering committee, the public and our team over nearly six months," said Tim Velazco, an architect with Schooley Caldwell, addressing those gathered for the second reading of the resolution Sept. 4.

"We hope that (the final plan) represents everybody that's come out to the meetings," he said.

At the last public workshop July 19, several residents said the installation of an elevator should be included in the first of the plan's three phases, rather than the third phase. Based on public feedback, Velazco said, the committee revised the plan to include the elevator in what is now called "Near-Term Plans A and B."

"Near-Term Plan A" is estimated to cost $2.25 million and includes expanding the mansion's ground floor to create a multipurpose space for recreation programming and community use and include reconfiguring parking to create 20 more spaces.

"Near-Term Plan B" is estimated to cost $1 million and include the installation of the elevator and further work on the mansion's ground floor to make more room for smaller recreational spaces.

Chris Olsen, who said he lives near Jeffrey Mansion on North Parkview Avenue, said the city should implement Near-Term Plans A and B simultaneously.

"I cannot emphasize enough how much I would urge you to consider this as one package," Olsen said.

Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler said the city has identified $2.25 million in funding thus far to implement the master plan, with $1 million pledged by the Bexley Community Foundation, $250,000 from the state of Ohio capital budget, and the remainder from city funds. He said the fundraising campaign the foundation spearheaded can be broadened to raise funds for the elevator's installation.

"We've had further discussions with the community foundation," he said. "I'm really confident that we have a package that shows how we can fund Near-Term A and B concurrently."

Council's vote on the resolution for adopting the plan is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

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