By Linda Dillman
The city of Canal Winchester is looking to fill unoccupied space at the east end of its Waterloo Street municipal complex, but the current state of construction costs could be standing in the way.
At one point, before land was purchased along Groveport Road, the Columbus Metropolitan Library system contemplated moving its operations from a site connected to the school district’s educational center on Washington Street to the municipal site.
“The library was at over $1 million to finish that space with their design,” said Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire, “and they didn’t have extensive new walls that needed to be installed.”
Haire said the work included the installation of items such as new outlets, lighting and flooring and a pair of small offices.
“The rest of it was going to remain as is with the current ceiling heights and it was a million dollars to do that,” said Haire. “The costs are going to be significant in trying to get someone to finish out that space. It is 7,800 square feet, which is a significant amount of space. We have not been marketing the space. We have reached out to select users.”
Haire said over 4,000 square feet of the unused space could be easily subdivided if necessary.
Councilwoman Laurie Amick said she hates to see a public space paid for by taxpayers just sit idle.
Councilman Bob Clark added, “People aren’t going to come in and spend a million dollars on a project they don’t have control over the land or the building. That’s a tough sell. It will have to be a little sweeter deal.”
Contract Services Administrator Bill Sims said the city of Canal Winchester received one proposal for construction of a three-season shelter house at McGill Park.
“It costs less than the last time around,” said Sims, “however, it’s still expensive.”
According to Sims, the proposed cost for an open shelter house is approximately $787,000.
The cost for an enclosed shelter house is $862,000, which Sims said would allow a longer period of use during the year.
The proposed 60 x 40-foot building could seat over 100 people and includes a warming kitchen.