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The original item was published from 7/26/2023 4:29:42 PM to 7/26/2023 4:29:59 PM.

News Flash

Columbus News

Posted on: July 26, 2023

[ARCHIVED] FROM THE MAYOR: A grand summer so far (July 2023)

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Did you make it downtown on July 8th for the ribbon cutting and open house of our Community Building? Wow, what an exciting day.

Did you make it downtown on July 8th for the ribbon cutting and open house of our Community Building? 

Wow, what an exciting day. You might think that I am getting tired of talking about this - not! What a day. It began with us highlighting the accomplishments that went into bringing this awesome facility together. We thanked all of the people that played a hand in making this possible. 

We thanked you, the voters, for approving the concept and the bond issue. We thanked the architects, general contractor, and all of those that were associated with the project. We thanked Staff-lead by City Administrator Vasicek and City Engineer Bogus and each and every city employee that was involved. 

Think of this, a $32-million project that came in on time and on budget. In today’s economy, this is unheard of. And where does that $32 million come from? Twenty-three ($23) million for the Community Spaces (all space within the building except City Hall). The make-up of this $23 million came from $10 million in voter approved bond, $8 million from private donations, and $5 million from city sales tax. The City Hall portion cost $9 million with $7 million coming from bond and $2 million coming from city sales tax. 

What do we have for all of this? Columbus Public Library - connecting people and ideas. Check out your favorite book, participate in programs that support literacy and creativity, and enjoy educational services and events as a lifetime learner. 

The Columbus Arts Council - the center of creativity and imagination for the region. Visit the gallery with artists exhibitions, take a variety of art classes, attend special art filled events, and have access to theatrical and other fine arts performances. 

The Columbus Area Children's Museum (operated as a completely separate and independent 501-C)-a destination for children from miles around coming to learn and explore. Scheduled to open this fall children will be able to learn and play at Kidstown and Loose Parts Playground, curiously explore the water play activities, enjoy performances at the Dramatic Play Theater, and more. 

Along with this The Broken Mug will be operating their facility, leased from the City, in the northwest corner on the first floor of the Library. Scheduled to open soon this amenity is being eagerly awaited by building occupants as well as downtown businesses and shoppers. 

The third floor is your new City Hall and community rooms, which also house the City Council Chamber. City Hall was designed to be functional and efficient. The layout of this area was done keeping in mind that all Department Heads needed their own office and that their support staff needed to be located near by for ease of communication.  

Public access was kept in mind the entire time. Payment for city services can be made at the walk up window on the first floor just off of the main lobby. Along with this there is a drive-up window located off the alley on the north side of the building (this is a one way alley gaining access off of 15th Street) If interaction with city staff is required or you have other issues a quick trip up the stairs or elevator to the 3rd floor will bring to the front office of city hall. 

The community rooms occupy the west end of the third floor. This space also houses the Council Chamber. Council meeting and all other city committees will hold their public meeting in this space. As “community rooms” this is the area that will serve the public for events and activities. Meetings, family events, parties, this is space designed to be rented and used. This is your space and we believe it’s use will become great as it’s availability becomes better known. Elley Coffin is the city contact for uses and associated fees. If you have questions contact Elley at city hall or email her at Elley.coffin@columbusne.us.

As you can tell I am truly excited about this new addition to our community. It stands as a testament to the many efforts of some many coming together and collaborating toward a common goal. The completion of this facility actually closes the book on a huge undertaking that began in Columbus back in 2007. It was then that community leaders came together with a concept/vision called the “Quality of Life”. A vision designed to bring to Columbus things that would enhance the quality of life in our community. Enhance things for our current citizens and help invite new people to join our community. 

First came East-Central District Health. This was followed by the Wellness Center-housing our Y. Then came the High School with its STEM program establishing it as the leader in this growing concept. And finally our Community Building. As all of this evolved there were many ups and downs, wins and losses, but we never lost sight of the ultimate goal. And from that hard work and dedication what we have today is a reality. 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL INVOLVED DURING THIS TREMENDOUS JOURNEY!

Something Good Columbus!

Jim Bulkley

Mayor

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