How We Got here: The UA Community Center Feasibility Task Force
The Community Center Feasibility Task Force was a team of 16 UA residents who spent 18 months talking with members of the community, conducting surveys, focus groups, working with seasoned city planning consultants, evaluating numerous potential locations, and researching the best financial options.
They sought to answer these two questions:
- Does the community want and need a community center?
- If yes, what facilities and programming should be included, where should it be located, and how should it be funded?
Here’s what they found:
- It is feasible for the city to construct, operate, and maintain a community center
- 79% of survey respondents said they would support building a community center without a tax increase
- The community center should be more than just a recreational facility, serving as a central gathering place for the whole community
- The Phase I survey shows the top activities households wanted were exercise and fitness (80%), classes (67%), aquatics (62%), drop-in activities (50%), lifelong learning classes (48%), and senior activities (37%)
- The former Macy’s/Lazarus site at Kingsdale is the preferred location
- Expected to cost approximately $54 million to construct, this can be funded without an increase in taxes by using a combination of tax increment financing (TIF) funds, excess city funds, community center lease revenues, and hotel/motel taxes, along with private donations
- Membership and usage fees should be tiered, with options to accommodate senior residents and the operating budget should include a scholarship fund to assist residents facing financial barrier to participation
Source: CCFTF Report to the Community
For more information the CCFTF, visit their site at https://communitycenter.upperarlingtonoh.gov.