The effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus are not expected to delay the opening of Schneider Park in southwest Bexley this spring.

"COVID-19 shouldn't have any impact on the Schneider Park project," said Michael Price, director of the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department. "We are still anticipating an opening of the green space by the end of May or start of June."

Schneider Park was scheduled to open in spring 2019, but Price said more time was needed for grass in the park's athletics fields to grow properly.

Schneider Park is the first addition of park space in Bexley since Jeffrey Mansion and the adjacent park, 165 N. Parkview Ave., were deeded to the city in 1942, according to the department. Schneider Park is in the Ferndale Place/Mayfield Place neighborhood off of East Livingston Avenue.

Although Schneider Park's opening is on schedule, the city might postpone a ceremony marking the occasion, Price said.

"What might be delayed slightly is the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the park," he said. "That may get pushed back further into the summer, but (we are) not sure yet."

In addition to the $290,000 from the city's recreation fund, the Schneider Park athletics fields were developed with $100,000 previously allotted by the city, an $81,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and an $81,000 grant from the Bexley Community Foundation, Price said.

Last spring, city officials and a group of community volunteers installed a playground at Schneider Park. The city purchased the playground equipment for $78,519, with a $65,000 grant from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation and the remainder coming from city funds.

The city has not announced recreation programming for Schneider Park. All citywide recreation and parks department programming has been suspended temporarily because of the coronavirus, Price said.

As an alternative, the department is offering free online activities through a Facebook group, Bexley Recreation at Home.

"The page is designed to be interactive with the community, where residents can post activities, art projects, etc., they have done at home," Price said. "Our goal with the page is to help keep people active, creative and connected during this difficult time."

The recreation department is in the process of gathering how-to videos from instructors of various programs to add to the Facebook page, Price said.

"These will basically be little online classroom sessions that the public can watch and participate in," he said.

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