The City Council voted unanimously last week to provide $25,900 for design services for numerous exterior repairs and upgrades to the center at 421 Columbus Ave.
Under the proposed plans, new entrances and an outdoor space would be constructed along Columbus Avenue to the west plaza. The west patio and stairway would be removed, while a gated patio and secure outdoor space would be accessible from the ballroom. The west patio would be connected with a ramp to the proposed gated patio facing Columbus Avenue.
Council members aren’t in agreement on how far to take improvements. The council agreed the plans should be developed together, as the cost of designing each item separately would total $41,600.
Councilman Josh Brugger said it is a “no-brainer” to incorporate all the improvements into one plan.
Officials said wedding rentals are declining at the location, and hope improvements may bring more of them.
The plans entail first constructing the new entryways, followed by the terrace with ballroom access. A new retaining wall and west stairway would follow.
The City Council in December 2018 toured the Community Center and considered whether to address just maintenance issues or the other upgrades. The cost of all the work would add up to $223,087.
The Community Center was built together with the adjacent library building in 1967. The city spent $4.4 million in 2007 to extensively renovate the center.
City Manager Pat McGinnis said the task of designing the project will go out to bid.