Community Center & Outdoor Pool Project

After the completion of the Wildwood Playground rebuild in 2017, the GRD Board of Trustees evaluated the five-year strategic plan and decided to focus on plans for a Community Center. From a timing perspective, the GRD initially planned to announce the project in August of 2019. Based on timing of the partner agreements, the announcement was delayed to December 2019. 

The Community Center facility is planned to include a field house, fitness center, aerobics studios, full-service senior center (Licking County Community Center 60+), child watch, locker rooms, café style food vendor, program space, offices for the GRD and 10,000 square feet of medical services staffed by Licking Memorial Health Services. The Outdoor Pool, which will be located on the same site as the Community Center, will contain eight lanes of lap area, diving area, a zero-depth entry play area for young children, concession area, and locker rooms. The Raccoon Valley Park Pavilion will include a pavilion space with concessions and a full service restroom facility to support the park.

The Community Center and Outdoor Pool are planned to be constructed on a 20-acre piece of land south of New Burg across from the Granville High School (GHS), Granville Middle School (GMS) and GHS Football Stadium.  The land owned by Denison University, being leased to the GRD, is being made available for $1 per acre, per year, for 50 years. The lease contains an additional 50-year term, which can be exercised by both parties.

Publically owned and operated community centers seek synergistic relationships to create sustainability. The most popular of those is a partnership with a major medical provider. The GRD’s proposal contains a partnership with Licking Memorial Health Systems, which is paramount to the facility’s projected sustainability. LMH and the GRD have agreed to $24 per square foot lease, based on 10,000 square feet. LMH will invest 1.2 million dollars upfront, and an annual $120,000 of lease payment for the first ten years.  In total, LMH will contribute 2.4 million dollars over the first ten years. In the 11th year of the 20-year lease, the per square foot price begins at $24 and will be indexed to the dollar amount based on inflation in the year 2032. At a conservative 1.5% inflation rate, the lease payment for years 11 through 20 will provide 2.6 million dollars. This would bring LMH’s investment in the project above 5 million dollars.

The Licking County Community Center 60+ board of trustees have unanimously voted to co-locate with the GRD should this facility come to fruition. The LCCC 60+, formerly the Granville Senior Center is currently spending $4,800 per month to lease their facility. The rent in the proposed facility will cost $1 per year, enabling the LCCC 60+ to allocate its budget to enhanced programming opportunities. Similar facilities and communities are finding more success when the amenities and programs are multi-generational.

Between 22.8 million levy proceeds, 1.2-million-dollar LMH commitment, and Rotary Club of Granville’s commitment of $100,000 to the pavilion at RVP, the GRD will have 24.1 million dollars to invest in capital. Construction estimates for the projects mentioned above are 24 million. The construction estimates include soft costs and contingencies. The one mill continuing operating levy will generate $528,000 per year before collection costs. 62% of the operating levy will be allocated towards off-setting operation deficits for the community center and outdoor pool, most of which will be directed to long-term capital maintenance items. The remaining operational resources will be divided between maintenance (26%) and permanent improvement (12%).

The GRD is not statutorily authorized to file one issue.  Therefore, this project contains two issues, capital and operating. The aggregate cost of both issues would result in a $10.20/mo increase per $100,000 of home value. Between the projected revenue streams and the continuing operating levy, the GRD leadership team does not expect an additional operating levy to be necessary for the facility to be sustainable.  

Like other community examples through-out the state and country, the facilities will also involve a membership fee. The following chart details membership costs for the facility:   

Important notes regarding membership:

  • Membership rates will remain the same for the first three years, but will increase incrementally thereafter as the GRD has done with programming 
  • No major membership rate increase is planned to support the facility
  • The GRD Center/Pool membership includes a 10% discount on all GRD programs
  • LCCC 60+ membership fee includes the full-service center and weekly opportunities to use pre-determined amenities
  • Silver Sneaker memberships will be available
  • Non-resident rates are approximately 2X the resident rate (determined by the combined amount of the tax valuation on a $350,000 median home and the GRD membership fee) 

The Budget pro-forma’s used in the planning process for this community were part of the GRD’s planning process in 2011 and 2012. The initiative included an outdoor pool initially, and a community center in the future. The studies included a Needs Assessment, Feasibility Study for Community Center/Outdoor Pool and Project Survey. The cost of the three studies was more than $50,000. Realizing that Granville’s community amenities and population is largely unchanged, engaging in these studies again would not be a prudent use of tax dollars. Any other information used for the creation of our budget pro-forma’s came from public recreation departments in Ohio operating like facilities.  

In closing, The GRD’s Leadership Team is very excited about this project. We believe to have addressed the challenges and present a project that resolves Granville’s lack of facilities. This project offers something for every citizen that is affordable and sustainable.   

We appreciate your consideration on the project.

Board of Trustees
John Klaus, Chairperson
John Kronk, Vice-Chairperson
Brian Costa, Trustee
Tobias Dunbar, Trustee
Katie Richards, Trustee

GRD Staff
Lara Benschoter, Marketing Specialist
AJ Gaul, Youth Sports Director
Janet Gordon, Administrative Assistant
Justin Lodge, Fiscal Officer
Lesa Miller, Program Director
Bobby Vahalik, Maintenance Director
Andy Wildman, Executive Director


Please read the article “Granville to seek two taxes for $23 million community center” posted, December 30, 2019, on the Newark Advocate’s Site Here.

Please read the article “Granville Rec. District proposing community/wellness center, outdoor pool” posted, December 13, 2019, on the Newark Advocate’s Site Here.