Sunday, September 21, 2014

Goshen Chamber updated on Community Center plans Thursday

Posted on Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.

GOSHEN — Goshen Community Center project director Bruce Stahly continued to reach out to the community Thursday morning, Feb. 14, presenting an update on the project to the Goshen Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking at the chamber’s latest Wake Up, Goshen event, Stahly and Goshen Community Schools superintendent Diane Woodworth provided background on the project and explained what has happened in the last few weeks.

After city council affirmed a referendum to appear on the ballot by a 4-3 vote in January, Goshen Community Center Inc. decided to delay the special election on the center until November to give residents a chance to gather more information and provide input on the project.

The postponement also gave the Community Center committee time to investigate ways that could potentially make the project cost less, through possible site relocation, size of the facility and additional fundraising.

Stahly emphasized the proposed center’s family impact, saying the group had not said enough about that in previous presentations. He said the Community Center would provide space for activities, instruction and gathering places that the city has little of for families and children.

Stahly added that the Community Center committee views the center as a complementary facility to privately owned fitness clubs in the city. He explained that the Community Center would offer things for families and young children that fitness clubs may not, while fitness clubs offer more advanced fitness opportunities and activities for adults.

Woodworth explained the school’s involvement and some of the changes that would come about at GCS buildings if the schools’ question on the ballot would be approved.

In addition to closing the schools’ existing pools, renovations and slight expansions would be in the works at both the high school and middle school, allowing for more space for physical education, music and seating.

Since the announcement that the vote would be pushed back to later this year came before the school board could hold their public hearing on the referendum, the school board will decide at their June 10 meeting whether to allow a referendum on the ballot for the schools’ portion of the Community Center project.

Mayor Allan Kauffman took the microphone near the end of the morning’s presentation after a short question-and-answer period and stated his belief that the Community Center would be, in the end, a big plus for the city.

“I would point out that it is a benefit to businesses also,” Kauffman explained. “This is one of those quality-of-place things that if we want professionals to live in our community, if we want knowledge workers to live in our community, this is one of those things that helps attract those people here.”

For more information on the Goshen Community Center, including business plan and tax impact, visit www.goshencommunitycenter.com.