What is the fate of Groveport’s Crooked Alley KidSpace?

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

A mural created by students at Groveport Elementary adorns the outside of KidSpace.

Discussions are ongoing regarding the future of Groveport’s Crooked Alley KidSpace.

A large capital project in the city of Groveport’s 2023 budget is the proposed demolition of KidSpace, 630 Wirt Road, and replacing it with additional public parking at an estimated cost of $500,000.

Groveport City Administrator B.J. King said several downtown area businesses have expressed a need for more public parking and the city is looking at its options. Currently the public parking lots south of Main Street are often full. Another downtown public parking lot with about 99 spaces is located on the north side of Main Street near Ace Hardware.

“We’re looking at how to fulfill our need for more parking downtown,” said King.

At Groveport City Council’s Jan. 23 meeting, resident William Kurey said the city should pursue other options rather than demolish KidSpace.

“Why demolish a building that is heavily used by the citizens of Groveport?” asked Kurey, who noted the building is handicap accessible and is used for children’s programs, voting, the Red Cross, and other activities.

King told Kurey there is “still a lot of discussion regarding KidSpace” and that the cost of the demolition was included in the 2023 budget as part of the overall budget process. He said city officials and council will discuss the future of the building more at their February meetings to see “what direction we should go.”

King added that city officials will not make a decision on demolishing KidSpace until, “We have a firm home for the kids’ programs housed there. No KidSpace programs will be sacrificed.”

Kurey asked about the potential of the property on the southwest corner of Main Street and Wirt Road as a place for more parking or even a parking garage. King said that property is privately owned.

King said the number of potential new parking spaces that would be created if the KidSpace building is demolished would not be determined until a plan is in place.

King said the $500,000 estimated cost is for the entire project, including demolition of KidSpace and parking lot construction.

The KidSpace building 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.

According to King, there are other cost factors to consider regarding the KidSpace building as the 68-year-old structure has leaks, needs a new roof at an estimated cost of $70,000, and the HVAC system needs to be replaced.

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