An Historic City Center

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CENTRAL FIRST BLUE b    The word is out that the City will be coming to the citizens for input on the building of a City Hall.  Well, since we all get to have an opinion, here is mine.
    The School Board just paid to have the historic school property at Sullivan and Hooper evaluated.  If you skipped the front page, reading that will shed light on the rest of this column.  With the likely departure from an idea of a “commercial node” on the property, it is a perfect fit for a quieter, greener, public-friendly “City Center.”
    How about a long-term plan for the City of Central to use ALL of the property and provide a gathering place for the community?  Bring all of the non-commercial necessities of this community to one location.  This won’t all happen at once, but now is the perfect time to put the plans in motion.  There may never be another opportunity to bring the Central community together on such a perfectly located property.
    Build City Hall and move City Services into the same building.  Perhaps make plans to host the Council on Aging as well.  If budgets allow, the Central Police Department and the School Board could eventually locate on the property.  Although it has been tried before, perhaps try again to entice the DMV or Clerk of Court to have offices in the complex.  With the right deal perhaps the Post Office would consider a move.
    All of that would certainly be convenient for Central citizens, but let’s go for fun and picturesque as well.  The property will need a sizable lake due to its elevation, so how about walking trails around the lake, and a fishing pier?  And a DOG PARK!!!!! How great would THAT be?  And plant lots of trees.
    I keep hearing that the Football Stadium is a problem in developing that property.  I actually think it is a bonus.  The high school needs that stadium for quite a few more years, but it is used for SO much more than that.  Youth football leagues and soccer alone make heavy use of the stadium.
    I bet the City and School Board could work together to put artificial turf on the field and encourage its use by many sports groups in Central.  If a new High School and Stadium is built, make this a “municipal stadium” for the community.
    I said earlier that this is my opinion, and it is, but these are not my ideas alone.  We have all wanted one or more of these things for Central, and we have all talked about these ideas for ten years.  Indeed, many of these ideas were discussed several years ago in City Center Committee meetings.
    It is my opinion that all of you are right, and your ideas, that I have described here, would make a perfect use for Central’s most historic property.  That would be Good News for a Great City.  

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