Locating the New Boathouse on Griggs Reservoir
The new boathouse on Griggs has received coverage in the local media from time to time in 2008. I was involved in the process, and I wrote an article describing it. It’s a long story with many elements.
SciotoRiverFriends.org wroteLocating the New Boathouse on Griggs Reservoir
by Alex Silbajoris
For many years, the City of Columbus Parks and Recreation Department (CRPD) and the Greater Columbus Rowing Association (GCRA) have wanted to build a new boathouse facility somewhere on Griggs reservoir, favoring a site in Duranceau Park in particular. The plans have evolved over the years, and the players have changed, with the result being a facility that is much more than just a replacement for the current modest boathouse.
Plans to build some kind of facility go back to planning sessions in the late 1980s and mid-1990s, and the effort received a major boost with the involvement of The Ohio State University and its Women’s Varsity rowing team in 1999. But most of the later planning and design was carried out without much public input. When finished plans were shown to the community, protests erupted.
Residents neighboring Duranceau Park have strongly objected to locating the boathouse in the park, on many grounds including loss of public space, increased traffic, and probable reduction of property values. Over the Spring and Summer of 2008, a committee comprising residents, University and City parks officials, rowing club and team representatives, and other park users, met several times to discuss the project and alternative locations for it. As Chair of the Friends of the Scioto River (FOSR), I represented environmental groups in these meetings.
City officials have decided to place the boathouse in Duranceau as originally planned. The main reason was the safety of boaters and IVC program participants, along with environmental impacts and a significant increase in cost to change the design of the building for any of the alternative sites.