Lumberyard not forgotten

Grove City leaders want residents to know that the lumberyard project is moving along.

At the Oct. 20 meeting, Grove City council members asked City Administrator Sharon Reichard to provide them with a monthly update on project developments.

"We are moving the project forward and taking it seriously," said Reichard.

The lumberyard site is a large parcel of property located behind City Hall, off Broadway. Its development is key to the city’s Town Center plan, which would revitalize the downtown area.

On Oct. 15, a draft of the lumberyard project was released. The draft states that the concept development phase is complete, which cost the city nearly $45,000. Now they are moving onto the schematic phase.

This phase would compile information (size, cost, location, function and appearance) that determines design development. One idea for the lumberyard site is to relocate the Grove City Library.

According to the city, they are in the process of appraising the existing library site on Park Street. The next step would be to analyze hazardous material at the library and bring on a design consultant. The consultant may be retained to map out the layout of the 40,000 square foot library that would be spread out over two floors of a multi-unit building. This design phase would also determine the cost to relocate the library books and equipment to the new location.

Grove City Mayor Ike Stage explained that the last time the current library had major improvements was back in 1947. He said a new location and improved library would bring in additional downtown visitors.

The new site would be larger than the current library site. Mark Shaw, library director said the site would allow more space for books, programming, public service and parking. Shaw also noted that the deal is not set in stone and the library told the city all costs connected to the relocation would have to be borne by the city.

Another piece of the phase would be to bring on a consultant for the university partnership. The city is in negotiations with Ashland University and Lorain Community College for a branch in Grove City. The consultant would help determine the higher educational needs in the community.

The schematic phase would also cover preliminary architectural plans, site cost estimates, developer fees and streetscape design. It is estimated to cost $338,000.

"People keep asking me about the downtown development," said Councilwoman Maria Klemack-Mcgraw. "The excitement is still there. It is going to bring business and jobs to the area."

Reichard said she will give council a monthly report at their first meeting of the month, which falls on the first Monday of each month at 8 p.m. at City Hall.

"We are looking forward to turning some dirt," Reichard remarked.

The city is also planning a public meeting with Frank Elmer, with Lincoln Street Studios, a design and planning firm overseeing project development. The date has yet to be determined.

To view the Town Center plan, log onto grovecityohio.gov.

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