Bond, the levy would add a country home, community center for the New Albany area
If voters in the local New Albany-Plain Common Park District approve construction and operation, a new field house and community center will be used extensively in Bevelhymer Park, Parks District Director Dave Wharton said. .
Two questions on the Nov. 8 ballot would pay to build and operate the facility, he said. One is a 30-year, $46 million bond issue project at a rate of 2.2 mills that would pay to build the facility. The other is an additional ongoing (permanent) levy of 0.69 million that would fund its operation.
“If only the bond tax passes, we can build the facility but we won’t have the money to operate it. If only the operating tax passes, there will be no money to buy the land and construct the building in which the services will operate,” according to the site.
Wharton said the construction of a public recreation and meeting facility is a development long overdue by the community.
“Residents of the New Albany District and the community have wanted recreational indoor space for 15 years,” he said.
The fornafieldhouse.org the site says a community survey and feedback from residents supports the project, which would provide recreation and wellness opportunities for entire families.
The Parks District was formed by New Albany, Plain Township and local New Albany-Plain schools about 22 years ago, Wharton said, when New Albany was a village of only 3,000 people.
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The goal was to create parks and recreation opportunities for the entire region, he said.
“We’ve grown, serving over 5,000 people a year. We think now is the time,” he said.
The facility would cover 190,000 square feet in the park at 7860 Bevelhymer Road, he said. Of this space, 42,000 square feet would be designated for a community center.
In addition to providing space for all indoor sports, including an indoor track and grass pitches, the facility would benefit the public by providing space for a wide variety of activities, Wharton said.
“Being an indoor structure, we can do exhibits,” he said. “We can do tournaments. We can have small meetings. We can have big meetings. We can do sports. We can do non-sports. We can do computer labs and after-school study tables. school. The uses of space are endless.”
He continued, “We designed the space to be as user-friendly and usable on multiple surfaces as possible. That’s why we didn’t build a traditional-style country house. We want to be able to use space in as many ways and for as many uses as possible.”
If voters approve both ballots, Wharton said, the field community center should be built and ready for use by the end of 2024.
After approval of the matters, he said, the next steps would be to finalize construction specifications, seek bidders and appoint contractors.
According to fornafieldhouse.org, issuing bonds and levying would add $8.49 per month in property taxes per $100,000 of home value.
Using common drawdown calculations, issuing the 2.22 million bonds would cost $77.70 per year for $100,000 of home value, and the operating drawdown would cost an additional $24.15, for a total of $101.85.