By Rick Palsgrove
Let the fun and fitness begin!
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther recently officially opened Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s renovated Scioto Southland Community Center (formerly Indian Mound Recreation Center), located at 3901 Parsons Avenue (south of Williams Road, north of I-270).
The renovated community center and park includes a 34,000 square-foot, multi-purpose wellness and activity space.
“Our community centers are a vital resource for residents, and it’s important that we continue to invest in our facilities so we can meet the changing needs of our communities and prepare for the growth we’re expecting to see in our city and region,” Ginther said in a press release. “We’re excited to enhance the experience for residents in the community.”
The recreation center has undergone renovations over the past few years, including its gymnasium, lobby, and classrooms. Plus air conditioning was installed. During the renovations, the space was nearly doubled, allowing for the addition of these new features: demonstration/teaching kitchen; auxiliary gymnasium; additional classrooms and restrooms, including a family restroom; walking trails; and playground.
The new space allows for new and expanded programming, such as toddler childcare and after school programming as well as senior programming, some of which will take place during early center hours. The new art room features pottery wheels, a slab wheel and kiln, and the center offers dedicated spaces for boxing and weightlifting.
According to the city of Columbus, the renovations are part of Columbus Recreation and Parks’ capital improvement plans designed to continue to enhance the facilities and amenities available to residents. The department partnered with Hardlines Design to complete this project.
“Indian Mound Rec Center was built in 1970 and was designed to save on utility bills,” said Charissa Durst, president of Hardlines Design Company and who was the lead architect. “The facility had no exterior windows and low ceilings. Administrative space was limited, the locker rooms were in poor condition, and there wasn’t enough space for the programming the city wanted to do in this facility. The city of Columbus has been gradually updating/replacing their older recreation centers and at the end of 2015 Indian Mound was next on the list.”
Durst said the city’s original plan was the demolish the existing 12,000 square foot building and construct a replacement, similar to what had been done with Glenwood Recreation Center.
“Unfortunately, the available construction budget was insufficient to build an entirely new facility,” said Durst. “After a series of public meetings, senior programming was added to the facility, which made the new building larger and more expensive.”
According to Durst, Hardlines Design Company persuaded the city to retain the original building, renovate it, and construct an addition, which would meet the construction budget and incorporate the senior programming.
“The updated facility has a brightly lit interior, expanded administrative space, new locker rooms, a main and auxiliary gym, rooms dedicated to fitness room, art, ceramics, and computers, as well as a commercial kitchen and several multi-purpose rooms for flexible programming,” said Durst.
“It’s important that our centers represent the community and are tailored to the needs of the neighborhood,” Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department said in a press release. “We asked residents to share what features and programming are important to them, and for their help in selecting a new name for the center that better represents the community.”
To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Scioto Southland Community Center is open to registered participants and staff only. Community members can see the facility by visiting youtu.be/_Huc_bG5PcM.