COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Linden Community Center is set for a $20-million facelift next year that will open to the public in 2020.
The project is a part of Mayor Andrew Ginther’s Capital Improvement Budget, providing health and community support to the underserved neighborhood.
Many living in Linden want to know what will happen to their existing programs during the renovation.
On any given day, kids are shooting hoops outside the center. Inside, the loud noise of a fan roars throughout the hallways in an attempt to cool down the 67-year-old dilapidated building.
“Like so many other things, as we get older we need to be upgraded,” said South Linden Area Commission member, Lois Ferguson.
For years, Ferguson and the South Linden Area Commission have worked with the city to remodel the center.
Inside, noticeable repair work has been made, but with deteriorating floors, peeling walls and no air conditioning, once small things have become concerns.
“Rec centers provide a Place for kids to come defined themselves. Find a direction for their allies and sometimes it may be a meal that they get that day,” said Ferguson.
As the city tears down the old building to make room for the new one, the big question is what will happen to its existing programs. The center provides important services like Head Start for Pre-K children.
“I’m hoping that we can come up with some great ideas maybe work with the city of Columbus school to see if maybe one of the local schools can be used for a program,” said Ferguson.
“When the kids come to the center they are safe, they are protected in the center but once they’re outside the center, no telling what may happen,” said resident Zanetta Awuah.
The interruption in programs over the course of a year could be inconvenient for many Linden families, Like Zanetta Awuah who’s great-niece is enrolled in the program.
“If we have to take our children from here and not know if they are going to be eligible to another program that is crowded and no space for our children,” said Awuah.