A Community Center in Upper Arlington is not only needed, but wanted by residents, as shown in the results of the Community Center Feasibility Task Force’s nearly two-year fact-finding mission. The Community Center would add value to the lives of all UA residents by providing multigenerational activities in the heart of our community. This plan makes good financial sense, as it can be both built and operated without any income or property tax increase. The circumstances that make this project work financially will not present themselves again, so it’s critical that we approve this project now.
For many years, the idea of a Community Center in Upper Arlington has been discussed among residents. Since Macy’s closed their Kingsdale location and sold the building to Kroger in 2015, the big blue building in the heart of our community has sat vacant. After City Council assembled a task force that engaged with consulting firms and listened to residents; a plan for funding and building this asset was recommended for that very spot as a public component of a larger redevelopment project. Once the home of the Big Bear grocery store and Lazarus department store, Kingsdale has always been a bustling center in Upper Arlington. Still true today, you can visit the grocery store, dine out, shop at locally owned businesses, and more.
The proposed Community Center plans include an indoor pool, running track, multi-use gymnasiums, a weight room and exercise facilities, improved senior center, fitness classes, community meeting and event space, and child watch facilities, teen space, and programming for all ages. Such amenities add value to the everyday lives of all UA residents, from young adults, to busy families, to our valued seniors. We can achieve all of this and more without an income or property tax increase, thanks to the diligent work of the Community Center Feasibility Task Force (CCFTF) and City Council.
Yes to a Community Center is a grassroots campaign, driven by a group of UA residents who believe that a Community Center would add value to this city and those who call it home. Upper Arlington is a city that thrives on community and innovation, which is exactly what we believe a Community Center stands for. We want to build a multigenerational gathering space that can adapt to the needs of the UA residents who enjoy it for years to come.
The value is there. The finances are right. The timing is now. Vote YES either early by mail or in person on May 4th.