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

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
The future of Crooked Alley KidSpace building, located at 630 Wirt Road in Groveport, could be decided soon.

The fate of Groveport’s Crooked Alley KidSpace could be decided in early 2024.

The city of Groveport’s 2024 budget includes $500,000 listed under capital projects for “KidSpace Building improvements.”

Last year’s city budget included funds for the proposed demolition of the 3,100 square foot KidSpace building, located at 630 Wirt Road, and replacing it with additional public parking at an estimated cost of $500,000. But no action was taken last year regarding the building.

“No determination has been made on the status of KidSpace,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “I anticipate a decision being made shortly after the first of the year. We are currently looking how best to maximize the existing parking area.”

In a past interview, King said several downtown area businesses have expressed a need for more public parking and the city is looking at its options. Currently the downtown 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 and Delaney’s.

King said in a past interview that the number of potential new parking spaces that would be created if the KidSpace building is demolished would not be determined until a design plan is in place. He said the $500,000 estimated budgeted cost would be for the entire project if it is decided to be pursued, 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.

Last year, King said there were other cost factors to consider regarding the KidSpace building as the 69-year-old structure has leaks, needs a new roof that in 2023 was estimated to cost $70,000, and the HVAC system needs replaced. He said city officials would not make a decision on demolishing KidSpace until, “a firm home is found” for the kids’ programs currently housed there and that no KidSpace programs would be sacrificed.

The KidSpace building also includes two public art works – a mural on an interior wall depicting Groveport during the 19th century Ohio and Erie Canal era and a Groveport Elementary School student art project on an exterior wall. When asked if these art works would be saved if a decision is made to demolish the building, King said in a previous interview that saving the art works would depend on the condition of the murals as well as the design aspects of the project if pursued.

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