Work is expected to start this summer to paint a community mural on the outside wall of the performing arts center at Reynoldsburg High School's Livingston Avenue campus.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education unanimously approved a contract last month with the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County, which will sponsor and fund the mural.

The contract calls for ADAMH to pay for all materials and maintenance of the mural for seven years.

The agency funds mental-health and substance-abuse prevention services throughout Franklin County and in 16 school districts, including Reynoldsburg.

"We are committed to this project," ADAMH Public Affairs Director Aimee Shadwick said.

"This would be the fifth mural we would have completed in central Ohio," she said. "We have completed murals in near East Columbus, Westerville, Dublin and Franklinton and are talking to the Gahanna community about a mural.

"We pay for the mural -- the paint, the slides, stipends for the artists and the final celebration for the community," she said.

ADAMH representatives originally brought the idea to Reynoldsburg City Council last summer and gathered public input last July. Identifying a place for the mural on city property proved difficult, however, despite the fact the city prepared legislation authorizing Mayor Brad McCloud to enter into an agreement with ADAMH to create the mural on the curved outside wall of the Reynoldsburg Municipal Building at 7232 E. Main St.

That legislation was withdrawn by the end of July 2017.

ADAMH brought the discussion to school board members in January.

"People ask why our agency is involved in creating public murals, but we think they are a way to bring the community together and make more people aware of ADAMH and to talk about what health and wellness means to the community," Shadwick said.

Eliza Ho, from ALTernative, the design firm working with ADAMH, said the mural would "promote a healthy living-style message to the community."

"We are looking at a six- to eight-month timeline for completion, from design to engaging the community to completing the mural," she said. "We would like to celebrate the mural completion by the end of September."

She said the location already has been surveyed.

"It is an excellent location and the wall condition is great because it is brick and should receive the paint well," she said.

A more specific site survey is expected to be completed sometime this month, she said.

Ho's firm will begin community engagement in early summer to talk about the design.

"We want to work closely with the community and get input and ideas about the design, and sketches from art teachers and their students," she said. "After we get all of those ideas and opinions, we would present at least three design options to the steering committee."

Actually painting the mural should begin in July and go through August, she said.

She said the mural should be complete by September.

According to the contract, ADAMH is responsible for maintaining the mural for seven years, which includes covering any graffiti, unless the cost to repair damages amounts to more than $1,000.

Shadwick said there has been only one incident of vandalism with one of the murals ADAMH sponsored and it was painted over at a cost of less than $100.

editorial@thisweeknews.com

@PamelaThisWeek