By Amanda Ensinger
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Prairie Township is putting a project on hold that would make it possible for all to participate in sports.
“The One Field Fundraising Campaign has been put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rob Peters, Prairie Township administrator. “Almost $728,000 has been raised and an additional $195,000 has been pledged by donors.”
According to Peters, the project is estimated to cost $2.1 million. However, the total budget includes the Galloway Road widening, turning lane and parking lot. The actual field is estimated to cost $880,000.
The purpose of the project is to build an artificial turf field that is designed specifically for individuals with special needs to experience the joy that comes from being a part of a team.
The field will have a hard surface, allowing individuals with crutches or wheelchairs to more easily use the field and won’t be as restricting as a natural field would be.
The field would be used for soccer, football and other field sports.
Money for the project has come from state capital money, the Giving Tree, the Columbus Foundation, the Galloway Baseball Club, Grove City Bingo Hall, Trebel LLC and anonymous donors.
The township plans to build the field at the new Galloway Road Sports Complex.
Money raised for the field is through the Prairie Township Community Fund, a group that is funded under the umbrella of the Columbus Foundation, and allows community stakeholders to raise funds for projects within the township. The mission of the organization is to enhance the quality of life in the greater Prairie Township area by enriching traditions and supporting innovation through leadership and giving.
Money for the project will continue to be raised by corporate and private donations, as well as other creative tactics by the Prairie Township Community Fund until the township reaches its goal.
Prairie Township Community Center Director Michael Pollack said the township wants to focus on one project at a time.
“Right now, we are focusing on getting all the fields at the sport complex open for sports like soccer and baseball,” Pollack said. “Once that is complete, we will come back to this project. It is on pause while we focus on one project at a time.”
Other projects Pollack said the center may focus on in the future include potentially creating a community garden, a dog park and expanding the pool in the center.
“We are focusing on getting the sports complex up and running, then we will focus on the One Field,” Pollack said. “After all those projects are complete, we will focus on other potential projects.”