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WAC discusses regional recreation center
The Westland Area Commission (WAC) is still trying to have a regional recreation center built in the Westland area.
The topic came up again at the Jan. 19 WAC meeting with members making plans to bring representatives of Columbus Recreation and Parks to the Westland area to get input from local residents.
The city had talked about building two such centers, but plans stalled in the recent financial bind. Voters approved an increase in the city income tax which allowed the city to restore some cuts. That means some neighborhood recreation centers that had been closed are reopening.
The possibility of a regional center out west came up again with the announcement the week of Jan. 17 that a park will be developed in the northern part of the city without a recreation center.
WAC member Mike McKay offered the suggestion to keep the neighborhood centers closed and channel the money toward building a regional center.
“The larger regional centers may be the way to go,” he said. “The neighborhood centers may not be the answer.”
Parks and Recreation Chair Shawn Thomas, a physical therapist at Doctors Hospital, said the hospital has expressed an interest in participating in the operation of such a center, but said the location is too far away from the hospital at 5100 W. Broad St. The location under consideration is on West Broad Street just beyond the Kroger store. A second location under consideration is on Alkire Road.
Phil Warner, who represents South-Western City Schools on WAC, said the schools had been involved in conversations with townships and the hospital about a center, but “they were conversations and were held before Thanksgiving.”
Maureen Lorenz, a representative of Recreation and Parks, wants to know what the community wants in a recreation center, and Thomas and WAC President Linda Pitts are working to set up a meeting where Westland area residents can offer their input. They’re hoping to have a meeting set up in late February.
WAC’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 16, at Doctors Hospital. The public is invited to hear the speaker, Julie Bingman, a healthcare advocate from UHCAN Ohio, talking about the health reform bill and how it affects individuals.
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