Township gearing up for spring opening

By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

As the Prairie Township Community Center construction keeps plugging away, township officials are preparing for the May 2015 opening.

At a recent board meeting, the director of the center, James Gant, asked trustees to approve a number of purchases related to the center. The first was a state-of-the-art programming system called RecTrac.

“RecTrac will allow us to let people register for classes, buy passes to the center, schedule rooms and even check in,” Gant said. “It will ensure we don’t over book a room and will allow people to register for events in the comfort of their own home.”

Township residents will be able to access the scheduling system via the township’s website, www. prairietownship.org.

The township paid approximately $60,600 for the software. After the initial purchase of the software, the township would have to pay $7,000 a year for maintenance and upgrades.

Another item approved was authorizing further examination of a proposed trail agreement.

The trail would span from the community center to the Broad Street streetscape to the Camp Chase Trail.

“We would love to connect all the schools in the township, as well as several parks and recreation properties that are owned by Columbus,” Gant said. “We are still in the early planning phases, so we are not sure how long the trail will be, but we do know it would be constructed in phases.”

The first phase of the trail would connect the Camp Chase Trail to the Galloway Road Sports Complex to Alton Hall Elementary School. Construction dates for the second, third and fourth phases of the trails depend on grant funding.

“We are applying for the Clean Ohio Trail Grant for funding for this trail,” Gant said. “If we receive the grant, we could get up to $500,000.”

If the township receives the grant, it would have to pay 20 percent of the funding. The township has to reapply for the grant every two years, so the constructing of the other phases of the trail would be contingent on grant funding.

Most of the property the trail is on is owned by the township, area schools and the city of Columbus. However, a small portion of the trail property will be owned by private township residents. In those cases, the township would need to work with property owners.

“Until we find out if it is feasible to put a trail in it makes no sense to approach any property owners,” Gant said. “We have to make sure it makes sense on paper first. Once a plan is in place and we determine if it is economically feasible, we will move forward with planning.”

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