Friday, Oct 21, 2016
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Rec centers to get new windows

Glass-block still coming out

COLUMBUS -- The glass-block windows are still coming out at Columbus' Carriage Place, Douglas, and Howard recreation centers.

But after months of complaints from neighborhood residents who said the change will put art classrooms in the dark, the city says it will change its plans and add larger replacement windows.

The fix will add $27,000 to a $491,000 contract for work at the three centers. The flap started when the city announced it would remove glass-block windows that contribute to leaks and replace them with concrete block.

That's when complaints started coming in that the classrooms would lose too much natural light. The city now says it will install two 21-square-foot windows -- each 3 by 7 feet -- in each room.

"I'm still losing a whole lot of glass," said Paddy Shaffer, an art instructor at Carriage Place on the northwest side. Douglas Community Center is in South Linden, and Howard Community Center is on the northeast side.

The glass-block windows run from the floor to the ceiling in the lobby and in three rooms in each building, which are similar in design and age.

Original plans called for installing two 3-by-3-foot windows in the three rooms.

John Ehlers, who leads the Northwest Civic Association, and Rosemarie Lisko, another association member, talked to city officials after hearing from residents concerned about the plans for Carriage Place.

"I think the city can afford to spend $27,000 at all three rec centers," Ms. Lisko said.

Mr. Ehlers said the community should have been consulted sooner.

Recreation and Parks Director Alan McKnight said contingencies in the contract should cover the $27,000 cost.

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