By Andrea Cordle
Several projects to help revitalize the Grove City Town Center are moving along.
At a recent council meeting, Mark Shaw, director of Southwest Public Libraries, said the Grove City Library was on track to open in late summer or early fall.
Plans to relocate the library from its current home on Park Street to the new, state-of-the-art facility at the corner of Broadway and Grant Avenue have been in the works for years. Now, officials are close to the end result.
“We are excited to work with the city to make this happen,” said Shaw.
At the meeting, council approved a resolution that would allow the library to move forward with bids to purchase $863,000 worth of furniture, furnishings, shelving and other equipment for the building.
Several other Town Center projects received the green light from the state of Ohio.
According to Chuck Boso, city administrator, the state approved the city’s request for $3 million from the racetrack redevelopment fund.
The state of Ohio set up a racetrack facility community economic fund to assist municipalities in the redevelopment of abandoned race tracks. With the closure of Beulah Park, the city was eligible to receive $3 million from that fund, as long as the money would be used to enhance the Beulah Park property or surrounding area.
Last spring, the city formed a racetrack redevelopment committee. The committee recommended that the city use those funds to relocate and restore West Water Run. That project is estimated at $2.4 million. In addition, the city plans to use about $163,000 for planning and design engineering of the Columbus Street extension project. The city will also use the state funds for road improvements at the Southwest Boulevard and Broadway intersection. The city would use about $432,000 of state funds for this road project.
According to Mike Keller, the city’s consulting engineer, construction of the Columbus Street extension project is estimated at $2 million. It would not be covered by the racetrack redevelopment fund. He also said the Southwest/Broadway improvements would widen the intersection, replace the traffic signal and add a left turn lane onto Broadway.
Also at the meeting, council had its first reading on an ordinance to set aside $750,000 from the general fund for more Town Center improvements.
With the development of the library and Pizzuti’s plan to put an apartment complex west of City Hall, city officials have been trying to find additional parking in the area.
The ordinance states that the city’s design of the Town Center improvements has been modified to consider roadway improvements along Grove City Road and Park Street, as well as parking lot resurfacing at City Hall and burying existing utilities. The estimated cost of the underground utilities is $470,000 and the funding for the street improvements, which would include 10 additional parking spaces along Grove City Road, would cost about $280,000.
Council will have the second reading and public hearing on the Town Center improvements at its April 4 meeting.