GOSHEN — The second public forum on the site of the proposed Goshen Community Center didn’t quite accomplish its goal of eliminating two potential locations from consideration, but participants were able to narrow the options to five Tuesday night, March 26.
The evening began with six possible sites to be considered after a subcommittee slimmed the choices down from 10 after the first public forum in February.
The six included the originally proposed Millrace site, a site near Greencroft Goshen, a site off Plymouth Avenue across from Goshen Middle School, the old Western Rubber site parallel to Ninth Street and the Marion line, the Holiday Inn site west of U.S. 33 and the former Quality Drive Away site just off the S.R. 15 overpass.
The consensus of those gathered Tuesday was to eliminate the old Quality Drive Away site from consideration.
The goal of the meeting was originally to eliminate two locations, but questions about the remaining sites forced the group to keep five options open.
After splitting into groups, residents listed their top choices and then reported back to the larger assembly.
The clear frontrunners were the Holiday Inn and Western Rubber sites.
The group was noncommittal, however, when asked which of the other sites it would like to eliminate. Despite being the overall favorites, the Holiday Inn and Western Rubber sites brought with them significant questions that prevented the group from choosing to eliminate any of the other options at this point.
After the meeting, project director Bruce Stahly said a final choice would not likely be made by April, as originally hoped. “The variables now are cost,” he said, noting that the costs to purchase the Holiday Inn and demolish the building were still unclear.
An issue with the Western Rubber site is that the center would have to be separated from parking by Plymouth Avenue due to area constraints.
Another concern for the Western Rubber location is its proximity to the Norfolk Southern Marion line. Goshen Schools Superintendent Diane Woodward said though the prospects of a waiver from the state were promising, there were no guarantees that a waiver could be obtained.
For more information on the Goshen Community Center visit www.goshencommunitycenter.com.