City Council approves multi-million dollar upgrades

GREENWOOD, Ind. — Greenwood’s decades old downtown Community Center will be getting a multi-million dollar upgrade.

Greenwood City Council approved the funding at its meeting Wednesday night with a 6 to 2 vote.

Some council members expressed concern about plans on how to focus the money.

They’re worried there is too much focus on kids’ areas and not enough on the adult fitness areas.

But ultimately council members decided to allow the parks department to spend the money how it has planned to upgrade the center and help revitalize Greenwood.

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“The Community Center was built in 1992 and there’s been no significant and impactful change since then, so it’s been over 23 years,” Greenwood Parks and Recreation Director Rob Taggart said.

That’s why Taggart said the money to refresh the downtown center is worth it.

He said the city needs to keep up with private gyms and nearby kids facilities in other cities.

“23 years later nothing’s changed, our operations haven’t changed, our facility hasn’t changed, but the market has,” he said.

The project will cost about $2.3 million.

For that money, the center will get a complete renovation.

The fitness center will be moved downstairs for easier access.

The basketball courts will get a new walking track.

And a majority of the money will go toward a new two-story kids zone play area with tubes and slides.

Taggart said it’s important to show residents the city is willing to invest in facilities like this for improved quality of life.

Mayor Mark Myers agrees that projects like this can help attract businesses and talent.

“They want park systems, they want a community center for their families and employees to come to, and this is a great draw,” he said, “As we update, those people pay attention to that, marketing firms pay attention to that.”

Other renovation projects are underway across the city, like rebuilding the facade of Main Street in Downtown Greenwood.

“That’s huge because people are really getting back to the downtown and they are wanting to have that downtown area,” Myers said.

He believes keeping families in Greenwood for work and play starts with catering to the city’s youngest residents and giving their parents a safe and affordable option for fun.

“This last spring we got Freedom Springs so we are wanting to maintain and keep that momentum going,” Taggart said.

The city council approved use of park bonds which will provide a majority of the funding for the Community Center.

Taggart said the rest of the money will come from other parks department funds.

Design and construction will most likely take at least a year and a half.