Fourth in a series of articles offering information about the city ballot issue for November 6

Location, location, location! You’ve heard it before and when considering where to place city amenities, location is a primary consideration. When considering a location for community recreation, health, and wellness activities, the Columbus City Council and Columbus Recreation Commission have looked at numerous locations across the town, for both a space that could be renovated and a spot where new construction might be feasible. Many considerations come into play for a decision such as this, considerations that quickly eliminate some locations.

One location being considered for the proposed Columbus Health & Wellness Center is the site of the former grocery store directly east of the Columbus Public Library. One advantage of this option is that it’s centrally located, making it easy for most residents to access. Community developers agree that one secret to bringing life back to small town business districts is to bring amenities back to the center of town. This location would also allow for a collaboration with the local hospital. Mercy Hospital Columbus currently has a great need to expand physical therapy services for multiple populations, including athletes, senior citizens, and those recovering from accidents and surgery. “It is imperative that we respond to the growing needs of our Physical Therapy department in this community and pairing that need with a community wellness initiative really go hand in hand. It would be an excellent way for patients to continue therapy once graduated from the program, keeping them active and lowering risk for future injury,” states Angie Saporito, Hospital Administrator. “Mercy is very much interested and committed if this facility is located close to the hospital. We would sign a long-term lease agreement, ensuring monthly income for the center; house our physical therapy department in the facility and provide equipment; assist with janitorial and maintenance services for the facility; and offer wellness classes,” she concluded.

Another possible location for the proposed facility is the Columbus City Park. A significant advantage of this location is that the park offers many additional features such as the swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, and sand volleyball, which would allow for expansion of recreational programs for children and youth, especially summer recreation programs. The fact that the city already owns this property is another benefit of this location.

Article submitted by the Columbus Recreation Commission. Funding for this article provided by Citizens for a Healthy Columbus; Jennifer Thompson treasurer.