COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The site of a former Columbus elementary school is getting a creative facelift.

Nearly a decade after it closed, Columbus Recreation and Parks purchased the former Douglas Alternative School and its surrounding 3.9 acres to transform into its latest park and community center.

“The city is growing by leaps and bounds. And when the city grows, you’re going to have to have more resources to accommodate all the different people coming to our city,” said Derrick Clay, the president of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Commission.

The City of Columbus is developing the property into a new “Creative Campus” with programming for senior citizens.

“We’re trying to combine a few different places around the city and bring it into one senior center that the community can use.” explained Clay.

Popular programs from both the Martin Janis Community Senior Center and the Golden Lobby Gift Shop will move into the new space along with new wellness activities, creative classes and other social opportunities. A new building will replace the existing structure and the city will redevelop the green space into a public park.

“It’s really going to be transformed. It’s going to be a brand new building, it’s going to be a brand new park to use,” said Clay. “The whole community can use it.”

He hopes the Creative Campus will promote access to amenities and resources because of its central location in the Olde Towne East neighborhood.

“You can access it from the bus line, you can access it from Broad Street and it’s right in the heart of the city,” he said.

Project coordinators will be holding several public input meetings throughout the design process. The current school building will be demolished in 2022 and construction is scheduled for completion by spring of 2024.

Before the building is razed, the Columbus Division of Fire plans to use it for training exercises.