Resident offers different idea for KidSpace

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
Groveport city officials decided to demolish Crooked Alley KidSpace building, located at 630 Wirt Road in Groveport.

Groveport City Council recently unanimously voted to approve the demolition of Crooked Alley KidSpace later this year to make room for more downtown parking, but at council’s April 22 meeting, a resident floated another idea.

Groveport resident Diana Kurey proposed that city officials consider building a new, smaller community center on the KidSpace site after it is torn down.

“The need for it is inescapable,” said Kurey. “KidSpace is used beyond just kids’ programs. It is also used for adult programs, blood drives, and as a voting location. KidSpace is a multi-use building.”

Kurey said moving the existing KidSpace programs to the second floor of the Rarey’s Port building above Delaney’s would not solve the parking issues in the downtown area. She said what the city thinks will alleviates parking congestion in the municipal parking lot along Wirt Road will just create a parking problem in the parking lot by Delaney’s and Ace Hardware.

“People attending KidSpace programs in the space above Delaney’s will be there for long periods of time and that takes parking spaces away from paying customers at Delaney’s, Lissy Bee’s, and Ace Hardware,” said Kurey.

Council members did not respond publicly at the meeting to Kurey’s idea.

Background
Council had to decide between demolishing the KidSpace building – at an estimated cost of $30,000 – or repairing it at an approximate cost of $800,000.

According to Groveport Public Services Director Brian Strayer, the existing KidSpace building needs the following: a new roof, new electrical panel, upgraded HVAC, exterior brick tuck pointing, repairs to a “significant” crack on the east side of the building, repairs to the main floor which has settled and cracked, window replacements, repairs to rusted window transoms, new gutters, interior and exterior painting, and elimination of mold.

The 3,100 square foot KidSpace building, located at 630 Wirt Road, was built in 1955 and was originally the Groveport Municipal Building for many years and later was home to the senior center. KidSpace moved into the building in the early 2000s after the senior center moved to the Groveport Recreation Center.

City officials said demolishing the building allows for the creation of expanded public parking in the downtown area. City Administrator B.J. King said several downtown area businesses have expressed a need for more public parking in the city. Currently the downtown public parking lots south of Main Street along Wirt Road are often full. Another downtown public parking lot with about 99 spaces is located on the north side of Main Street near Ace Hardware and Delaney’s.

On April 8, council approved two pieces of legislation to address the situation. One authorizes King to solicit bids and contract for the re-alignment and expansion of the existing municipal parking lot situated along Wirt Road, Crooked Alley, and Cherry Street.

Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst said this parking expansion will increase the parking capacity in the lot to approximately 100 to 112 spaces from the current 60 spaces.

“The plan associated with this project includes the demolition of KidSpace and the closure of a portion of Cherry Street to combine these properties with the existing municipal parking lot property,” said King, who added there will be curb cuts on the newly designed parking lot to access Wirt Road.

The second ordinance authorizes King to contract with Leukco Construction for the buildout of the second floor of the Rarey’s Port building on Main Street (above Delaney’s Diner).

“That space will be used as the new location of KidSpace activities as well as conference room space,” said King, who added work on the buildout of the second floor of the Rarey’s Port building could begin in three months and take an estimated five months to complete.

King said the KidSpace building will not close until after the Rarey’s Port building project is completed and ready for KidSpace activities.

Construction of the new parking lot will not begin until the KidSpace building is demolished.

KidSpace voting location
Residents who normally cast their votes at the polling place in KidSpace have expressed concerns about where they will be able to vote on Election Day when KidSpace is demolished.

King said city officials are talking with the Franklin County Board of Elections regarding the issue and that a new voting location will be found.

“No one will be left without a place to vote,” said King. “Every eligible voter will be able to vote.”

Previous articleA different kind of prom
Next articleSenate passes bill to increase accountability of medical professionals

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.