VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING for CITIZENS’ COMMENTS ON COMMUNITY CENTER July 25, 2001
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:32pm)
ROLL CALL (7:32pm) Those responding to the Roll Call were Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, Moore, and McGowan; Mayor Robertson; Manager Hickman. Attorney Jim Gorry was present in place of Law Director Crites. Councilmember Crais moved to excuse Councilmember Bellman. There was no second.
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS re COMMUNITY CENTER (7:34pm) Kitty Consolo, 18 Samson Place. Since the Comprehensive Plan stresses preserving historical places, Ms. Consolo would like Council to consider Spring Valley Pool (begun in 1933) as the community-center location. Building(s) could be added to accommodate classes (yoga, dance, etc.). She also suggested the Longaberger mansion—easily reached by the bus line and bike trail. She added that the pool is unique, with its ultra-shallow play area and sand— a “priceless” feature.
Carol Roberts, 243 Denison Drive. She would love to see a stage for community plays and drama classes (including dressing rooms, a storage area for props, etc.).
Bet Brown, 16 Amberly Drive. She felt children should be able to ride their bikes to wherever this community center is and that it should, therefore, be placed where it would be most convenient for the most people. She also urged Council to not “assume that it has to be in town.”
Beth White, 125 W. Elm Street. She supported Spring Valley, adding that the pool itself would be a great start for a recreation area (though it would have to be turned into a year-round facility). Lisa Black, 122 Knoll Drive. She works at Spring Valley and said its peaceful, tranquil atmosphere would be an advantage. She also noted that there are many buildings on the property that could be adapted.
Melinda Bagley, 1037 Newark-Granville Road. She spoke in favor of Spring Valley, noting how important it had been to her own children as well as many others.
Bet Brown, 16 Amberly Drive. She said it was important to the community to save the pool. The bigger question, however, is “what do we need the most?”. She sees a real need for a building that has a couple of classrooms, noting that the Rec Commission offerings are held in church basements or homes since the Village doesn’t have appropriate places to hold those classes. The Rec Commission needs an office that’s not in someone’s house. They need equipment storage, senior-citizen spaces, and basketball courts. They need a large room with a hardwood floor where the baskets could be pulled up to the ceiling, folding tables and chairs brought out, and parties and receptions staged from a small kitchen. The large space should have folding doors so it can be divided into three or four smaller spaces. She pointed out that the pool only gets used three months a year (i.e., buying the pool first doesn’t meet nearly enough needs).
Lisa Black, 122 Knoll Drive. She agreed with Bet Brown about what kind of center we need but felt that Spring Valley was a great possibility, with acreage that could serve year-round needs.
Martha Chicotel, 4500 Grandview Road. She also works and coaches at Spring Valley and agreed with Lisa Black that many of the existing facilities at the pool could be converted. She added that there is lots of unused acreage.
Stanley Wrzyzczynski, 2322 Chestnut Hills Road. He cautioned Council to remember that “community” includes everyone, in every age group. Suggested that maybe instead of thinking of a building, we think of an employee—someone who would be hired to coordinate all the facilities and resources we already have in the community and see how they could best fit into the schedule. If we focus only on developing new real estate, a lot of existing resources might well go unused (e.g., numerous classrooms and storage facilities in the churches). The employee would be doubly important if we do develop the real estate. He also noted that a “community” is the people who choose to be a part of it, not just the ones who live there. He, himself, is not a voter even though he pays all the local taxes (he lives in McKean Township and works in Granville). He emphasized that, if we want a community center to work, we have to think “people” when we think “community” – not just “residents.” That also results in a much larger pool of supporters. He urged consideration of arts facilities (theater, music, art) as being every bit as important as athletic ones. Responding to Councilmember Crais’ question about how all this would be paid for, Mr. Wrzyzczynski stated that a full-time employee would mean access to state funding (e.g., Ohio Arts Council grants). Also, if we put forward a “greater Granville” concept, the funding base would be much broader.
[Councilmember Moore asked Mayor Robertson if the ad hoc community center committee would be doing a facility inventory or a community survey. Mayor Robertson said the committee had discussed it and decided not to do so. Lesa Miller, representing the Rec Commission, confirmed the point.] Martha Chicotel, 4500 Grandview Road. She described a community-center model in which those in the local school district could join at a discounted rate; those outside the community paid a higher rate.
Stanley Wrzyzczynski, 2322 Chestnut Hills Road. He reiterated his concern about what is “inside” and what is “outside.” Many people, himself included, who work here and pay income taxes here but don’t live here don’t like being considered outsiders and/or being asked to pay a premium for services they are already supporting.
Carol Roberts, 243 Denison Drive. She asked about next steps (e.g., is tax money available? would there be a levy? how would Denison kick in? would Kendal kick in? how about other larger businesses—especially since a center would help retain families and employees of those institutions?). She also thought we should “throw in” an ice rink.
Betty Allen, 1683 Columbus Road. She spoke as a representative of the Granville Fellowship, noting that their needs are different from the younger people. They like to walk, jog, and ride bikes, so bike path access would be critical. She thought Spring Valley would be “ideal” and that Township funds could be used as well as Village ones. The Fellowship would need a “sociability” place that included a place for meals, an office for their director, storage that’s lockable, and a big social hall. If all this were in conjunction with a community center, older folks could interact with younger ones. Adequate parking and a possible shuttle service to and from town would also be needed.
Martha Chicotel, 4500 Grandview Road. She reported that a large group of Spring Valley supporters are willing to help but need to know what to do. [Mayor Robertson thought it might be helpful to have a standard list of questions that people coming in to the pool could answer.]
Melinda Bagley, 1037 Newark-Granville Road. She appreciated the possibility of saving money by utilizing existing space but she also wants to save the pool. She proposed a combination of what we have now and new facilities, all designed to bring people to one place. Stanley Wrzyzczynski, 2322 Chestnut Hills Road. He reported that a major topic of discussion at the opening of the recent Art Show at St. Luke’s Parish Hall was how nice it would be if Granville had a permanent gallery space. It could be a performance space as well, and also be the venue for lectures (with the community making the choices, not Denison or anyone else). He felt that such a place, with its attendant opportunities, was the kind of thing that makes a community interesting, in addition to giving the citizens something to look forward to and get involved in that’s not athletic.
Carol Roberts, 243 Denison Drive. She enumerated a list of activities that could shape the space (probably a big room with hardwood floor and good acoustics): dance, martial arts, art (including kilns?), cooking classes, etc. We’d need a social hall for movies (i.e., something that would attract teens). She urged that we not reinvent the wheel but rather look other communities to see what they’ve done. In short, we should build something amorphous with enough space to go in a number of directions depending on what tomorrow holds. A centralized place is very important.
Judith Thomas, 4 Sheppard Place. She expressed frustration that, even though there is access to e-mail and the web site, it’s not interactive. Gerry Griffin, 4 Sheppard Place. He volunteered to set up a bulletin-board web site. Council accepted the offer.
Trudy Knox, 168 Wildwood Drive. She expressed concern about what seemed like a push to utilize the land next to Kendal. From what she observed at the Township Trustees’ meeting, she felt there seemed to be a misconception that Kendal wanted the community center out there and was willing to help finance it. She stated “that’s not the read she gets from Kendal, though they were interested in being cooperative.” She was glad to hear the community interest in saving Spring Valley and suggested that some of the money earmarked for saving green space could be used to purchase it. She also suggested we might move Sinnett House out to Spring Valley, and noted that the community center concept could be accomplished in incremental stages.
Mayor Robertson noted that the joint committee is “brainstorming” and getting input. She will take the notes of this meeting to their next session. Their intent is to report back to the Township Trustees by mid- September. No specific process has been set yet since the project is still in the talking stages.
Councilmember McGowan, responding to a question from Ms. Consolo, reported that the Rec. Commission has discussed 10- 12 sites as possible locations, including any place where existing facilities could be utilized or added to. He emphasized that these sites may or may not be available and have yet to be prioritized or thoroughly investigated. The list includes Wildwood Park, Spring Valley Pool, Lake Hudson, and properties owned by Kendal, Longaberger (on Granville Road), Reese, Fackler (to the west of Cherry Valley Road), Murphy, Watts, and the Township Trustees (on Burg Street next to the new school site). Two school sites were also discussed—the current middle-school and the new intermediate school,
Mayor Robertson closed Citizen’s Comments at 8:48pm.
ADJOURNMENT Councilmember Lucier made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:48pm. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Meeting adjourned.