Reynoldsburg residents discuss possibility of community rec center

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) – Residents in Reynoldsburg are discussing the possibility of building a community recreation center and pool.

Most residents tell NBC4 it’s something that’s much needed.

“I think the YMCA or something like that would be nice because there’s really nothing around here anymore,” says resident Justin Hanna.

He says he’d support a raise in taxes if it meant a rec center would be built.

He also talks about the old pool club that burned down back in August. It had closed back in 2014, after 55 years in business. Firefighters later determined the fire was intentionally set, but no arrests have been made.

Hanna says since the pool closed, there’s not much else to do in town besides going to the parks. He says he also takes his family out of town to other cities to visit their facilities.

“It’s kind of hard for things for the kids to do around here, so that’s why we ride bikes and try to do what we can do,” says Hanna.

Another resident, Elena Cautis, says a rec center would be a great asset for her growing family.

“Especially with another baby on the way and I think Matthew will really enjoy having a place to just spend some time, socialize with other kids,” says Cautis.

A survey has already been conducted on community interest and priorities for a rec center.

The results show most people are interested in a pool and affordable membership, as well as youth educational and violence prevention programs.

“Reynoldsburg is the only suburb in Franklin County anywhere near our size without a recreation center,” says Mayor Brad McCloud.

Wednesday night, residents gathered at a town hall meeting.

The YMCA was there, speaking about the possibility of becoming a partner in this potential rec center.

People in attendance were engaged, asking question upon question.

Sean McMullen is a current resident who participated in the meeting.

“I think the community is ready for a new rec center. We need it. We really do,” says McMullen.

Mayor McCloud says right now they’re thinking about funding the project with a 1 percent income tax increase.

McMullen wants a rec center, but says he’d feel more comfortable supporting it with more explanation on who’s paying for it.

“My concern is what does that 1 percent look like? Is it folks who work in lower paying jobs or is it fair and equitable across the board? That’s what I’m looking for,” he says.

At this point, this is all just a discussion. Nothing has been set in stone, including the possible partnership with the YMCA.

Mayor McCloud says the next step is purchasing the old pool club property and then most likely having another meeting in the late summer.

He says there will most likely not be anything on the ballot regarding this issue this year, but there could be next spring.

There are also no concrete estimates for how much this project would cost.

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