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Columbus News

Posted on: December 29, 2023

Upgrades coming to Centennial Park

CentennialPark

Centennial Park will be getting some improvements in the near future.

The Columbus City Council during its regular meeting on Dec. 18, 2023, voted 6-1 in favor of approving a resolution that called for electing a design-build delivery system for a new restroom and concession building at Centennial Park and designating City Engineer Rick Bogus to serve as performance criteria developer. 

It passed with a motion from First Ward Councilman Charlie Bahr and was seconded by Third Ward Councilman Ron Schilling. Fourth Ward Councilman J. Prent Roth voted against the resolution, noting he felt a new restroom is needed at Sunset Park and how he recently witnessed a person walk from that park to a temporary restroom facility outside the Fieldhouse because there wasn't one there.

"I believe this restroom would be better served at Sunset Park," Roth said during the meeting, noting he felt the existing restroom and concession stand at Centennial could potentially last another year before making updates. "With the completion of the new Fieldhouse, we need to do something at Sunset Park to make it more amenable to the Fieldhouse ..."

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Roth indicated he would like for a restroom to be built at Sunset Park after a master plan for it is developed. Located near the intersection of 38th Street and 41st Avenue on the north end of Columbus in close proximity to Columbus Community Hospital and the Columbus Wellness Center and Fieldhouse, Sunset Park boasts a walking/jogging trail. a playground and parking while offering fishing opportunities thanks to the nearby Lake Esther.

The Council talked about the number of people who use Centennial and Sunset parks, with it being noted Centennial gets really busy during baseball season, before the plan was ultimately approved. The resolution was approved 6-1 because there was a vacant First Ward City Council seat. Former Council President Beth Augustine Schulte resigned from her post in November 2023 because she moved out of the district she represented. Mayor Jim Bulkley earlier this month announced resident Cynthia Alarcón was appointed to fill that seat. Alarcón will be sworn in during the Council's next meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. To learn more about her, click here.

City staff earlier this year opted to create a master plan for Centennial Park in-house to save on expenses, collecting public feedback along the way. It ultimately got the approval of the Columbus City Council. You can view the full plan by clicking here and then clicking ‘Centennial Park Master Plan” on the left.

“Rejuvenate Centennial Park into a vibrant, inclusive, and modern destination that caters to the diverse needs and desires of our community members. Enhance the park’s facilities and services to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for everyone,” the plan’s vision statement reads. “Accomplishing this by providing a modern concessions, restroom, and maintenance facility. Revitalize facilities to breathe life into under-utilized recreational amenities. Improve parking and lighting for pedestrian safety while maintaining easy access for all users. All with the vision of transforming this park into a vibrant, inviting, and modern destination that unites our community and ensures its usage and safety for the future.”

The Master Plan calls for ballfield and play equipment improvements, additional parking, picnic tables, and a splash pad, as well as better concessions, restrooms and more.

Centennial is a 20-acre park located in southeast Columbus that features:

 - Three diamonds for baseball youth leagues - lighted until 11 p.m.

 - two tennis courts - lighted until 11 p.m.

- a playground area

- outdoor archery range

 - handball court

- batting cage

- restrooms - only open during scheduled activities

 - concession stand

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