Columbus city leaders announce capital improvement budget

COLUMBUS (WCMH) –The recreation center at Linden Park will be torn down and replaced with a larger “Center for Opportunity” under a new capital improvement plan unveiled Monday.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the city will gather input from the community to come up with a design for the center.

Tony Collins, director of parks and recreation says the idea is to create a facility that not only provides recreational space but to provide health and wellness programming for all age groups. “It’s our first attempt to build a building with 10 thousand extra square feet on it that we’ll invite nonprofits and other community partners to come in and offer those programs.”

The plan is part of a new $861 million dollar capital improvements budget.

The budget also includes money to renovate and expand the Indian Mound Recreation Center on the south side. The current 10,000 square foot facility will increase to 32,000 square feet.

Ginther says the city is targeting neighborhoods with high poverty, higher frequency of crime and at high-risk for infant mortality.

“Our investment in neighborhood improvements is an investment in the quality of life for all residents,” Ginther said.

Collins says the new centers represent a new way of connecting with residents. “It’s not just about a gymnasium and maybe an art class, it’s more about health and wellness,” Collins said. “It’s physical activity, so it’s yoga and it’s dance programs and it’s performing arts and creative arts and it’s lifelong learning opportunities, opportunities for seniors to come together to learn and grow together.”

The majority of the capital improvement budget, $755 million, is allocated to neighborhoods including citywide projects to upgrade and maintain water and sewer lines.

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