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South Side Gaining 550 New Jobs, New Community Center

Walker Evans Walker Evans South Side Gaining 550 New Jobs, New Community CenterPhotos by Walker Evans.
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Local leaders gathered this morning at the former Reeb Avenue Elementary School for a groundbreaking event that will see the historic building repurposed into a new community center for the South Side. Located at 280 E. Reeb Avenue, the building will be preserved, transformed and expanded with 18,000 square feet of additional multi-purpose community center space.

When the center opens next summer, it will provide educational services, childcare services, job training and workforce development programs and other family support services. Tenants and partners in the community center include The Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus, The Godman Guild, Lutheran Social Services, The Mid-Ohio Foodbank and others.

“The Southern Gateway is coming back,” said Mayor Coleman at this morning’s event. “The Reeb Avenue Center represents what can happen when a community comes together with a purpose. This outstanding investment by Columbus Castings reflects the newfound confidence generated by this neighborhood.”

In addition to the groundbreaking of the community center, representatives from the nearby Columbus Castings steel foundry announced an expansion of their workforce by 550 employees, which will grow their total to 1,100. Columbus Castings expects to train new workers from the neighborhood through the Ohio Means Jobs program that will be housed at the Reeb community center.

columbus-castings

“The revival of Columbus Castings is a huge success story,” stated Governor John Kasich this morning. “JobsOhio is a strong partner with the company and we look forward to the lasting change they’ll help bring to the city and the state overall.”

The developments announced today are part of a larger plan known as the Southern Gateway Initiative, which is designed to bring new resources, amenities and neighborhood improvements to the Parsons Avenue Corridor. Announced in July 2012, the program also includes grants for individual homeowner improvements, the new John Maloney Health & Wellness Center, and roadway and infrastructure improvements completed in the past two years.

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