What’s the future of Groveport’s old police station?

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The former Groveport police station has received a temporary reprieve from the wrecking ball.

Groveport city officials were considering demolishing the 75-year-old, 1,024 square foot, one story, brick structure, located on .059 acres on the southwest corner of Cherry and Oak streets, to create a small parking lot of six to eight parking spaces to help alleviate the lack of parking in the city’s downtown area.

However, at their Aug. 18 meeting, Groveport City Council members said they wanted to see if another use could be found for the building instead of demolishing it.

“The building’s in decent shape. It’s not worth tearing it down for a few parking spaces,” said Councilman Shawn Cleary. “Let’s find another use for it.”

Resident William Kurey, who lives next to the building, does not support demolishing the building. He is concerned about the affect a parking lot would have on neighboring property values as well as the potential of loiterers a parking lot could bring to the neighborhood.

The building’s history

The building was originally owned by Ohio Bell and used as a telephone switching station from 1939 to 1972. According to Groveport Police historian Ernie Bell, the city of Groveport took possession of the building in 1972 and it served as the Groveport police station from 1973 until around 1992 when the police moved to another building on Homer Ohio Lane. In 1995, the police moved to the municipal building on Blacklick Street and this year moved into their own building on Clyde Moore Drive.

The building at Cherry and Oak streets also was the home of the Groveport Heritage Museum from 1995-97 before the museum moved to Groveport Town Hall. The city now uses the building for storage.

Options for other uses

Several ideas were floated for potential uses for the building.

Bell, who proposed using the building for a police museum some time ago said, “I’d still like to make it a police museum, but, if not, another use should be found for it instead of tearing it down. It’s strongly built, like a fort.”

Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert suggested the building could be used to house the community food pantry.

“The food pantry has asked for a new site,” said Hilbert, who noted the food pantry’s current location is in the basement of the Madison Township administration building at 4575 Madison Lane and volunteers and community members must use a staircase to reach it.

“Some of the pantry volunteers are aging and would like a one floor plan,” said Hilbert.

Councilwoman Donna Drury also supported placing the food pantry in the building.

“The food pantry serves so many people and its current location doesn’t have a lot of space,” said Drury. “The pantry needs to be bigger and more accessible.”

Councilman Ed Rarey would like to see the building used to expand the programs offered at KidSpace, which is located next door.

“KidSpace has great programming for children and I’d like to see it have more space to work with,” said Rarey.

Finance Director Jeff Green said the building may need a new roof and would have to be made ADA compliant if it is to be repurposed. He also said the interior needs repairs, noting some ceiling tiles are falling. He encouraged council members to tour the building.

According to the Franklin County Auditor’s Office, the building has a market value of $45,800.
Councilwoman Becky Hutson said that, before anything is decided, council needs more information on potential costs for the various options.

City Administrator Marsha Hall said officials will review the options for the building. She said officials will present cost estimates to council in October for demolishing the building and constructing a parking lot or upgrading the building to be used for storage or other public uses.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I think using the old police station for the food pantry is a great idea. As stated, the food pantry location now causes not only the volunteers but also those needing food to use steps that are not very user friendly. Whatever council decides to do with the building, I would rather see it used rather than being torn down.

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