The talk of Greencastle getting a community center has been a long one, something residents have talked about for over a decade. You might remember a survey back in 2015 asking what you would want to see in a community center. You might even remember the first Greencastle City Council meeting when Sue Murray was mayor and made the announcement that Greencastle was indeed looking into a community center. For years, it has always felt like nothing more than talk.
Jacob M. Widner, Councilor-at-Large, expressed his frustrations at the September City Council meeting about the community center taking so long to complete. He, like many others in the community, was beginning to feel like this was just another pipe dream to be talked about but not completed. However, as Adam Cohen, First Ward, pointed out, various members of the City Council had sat through lengthy meetings, trying to push the project through and are, in fact, making progress.
Getting a new community center is not as simple as throwing up a building and adding in some desired amenities. There are complicated and legal steps that need to be taken, before the ground can even be broken. Plans have to be drawn, a site has to be chosen and purchased, a construction crew has to be hired, and attorneys have to draft all the legally required paperwork. The plans have been made with an open house in 2019 showcasing the proposed architecture; partnerships have been solidified with Putnam County Hospital and the Wabash Valley YMCA; the land has been purchased, it will be located near Big Walnut Sports Park; and a construction team has been chosen, though the team cannot be announced legally yet. What is taking so long? What sparked the frustration in Widner, causing him to question the rest of City Council’s priorities on the project? Contracts. The City of Greencastle was expecting to receive the contract documents on September 1, 2021. However, for reasons unknown, the attorneys are running behind.
To assuage the concerns Widner was still feeling towards the project, Adam Cohen offered “…at this point, we’ve too come to turn back.”
The Community Center is coming, but with so many working parts, it is taking time.