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The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
Columbus is expanding a South Side recreation center to include a larger fitness area and more multipurpose space for community meetings.
The Columbus City Council on Monday approved an $8.5 million contract with Gutknecht Construction to renovate the Indian Mound Community Center, 3901 Parsons Ave.
Indian Mound staff and programs were relocated Monday to Parsons Elementary School, 3231 Lee Ellen Place, while the center is under construction. It is scheduled to reopen in the summer or early fall of 2019, said Tony Collins, director of the Department of Recreation and Parks.
Gutknecht, based in the city's Northeast Side, was the lowest of three bidders.
The contract includes about $550,000 in contingencies for unexpected expenses.
A fitness area in the community center will be expanded "dramatically," Collins said, and it will have more multipurpose space that can act as an auxiliary to the gym and a community meeting space. Art and classroom space also will be included in the renovation.
Indian Mound is currently about 10,000 square feet in size, but that will more than triple to 32,000 square feet, including 4,000 square feet for mechanical systems.
"It's a small space in a large and growing neighborhood," Collins said.
The renovated recreation center also will include an expansion of its current kitchen and offices. Outdated electrical and air conditioning equipment will be upgraded, and the facility will receive new lighting, windows, doors, floors and paint.
Collins said Indian Mound is one of the city's "traditional" community centers, but the city worked with community members to figure out what they wanted in the expanded facility. That's where the city came up with the idea for additional community meeting space, he said.
In other business, the council also approved an additional $104,000 for the city's Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success program to add another Cap City Nights festival in the Wedgewood community and to hire two additional "violence intervention specialists" to help curb violence.
That money is part of about $500,000 the council announced last week that the city would spend over two years on ways to address violence in Columbus.
Two full-time intervention specialists will supplement the work of eight contract workers the city uses to mentor young people, trying to stop violence before it starts. The festival in Wedgewood will be the city's sixth this year.
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