Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center leaders announced today that the agency has purchased the commercial building at 3222-3224 N. High St. The additional site will allow the Settlement House to serve our neighbors more efficiently and effectively.
The 4,460-square foot office facility, previously owned by Schlegel Construction Products, is almost directly east of the CRC’s current building at 14 W. Lakeview Blvd.
The purchase, approved by the CRC’s board of trustees, addresses most of the pressing space needs for the Clintonville Settlement House. It will allow a majority of the CRC’s growing array of services to be operated out of the High Street facility, which in turn gives the agency an opportunity to upgrade its material assistance efforts that have been in need of additional space for many years.
“For the past 32 years, it has taken a lot of creativity and hard work by staff and volunteers to make this space work,” said CRC Executive Director Bill Owens, referring to the Lakeview building which has been the agency’s home for most of its 41 years.
The biggest initial impact will be felt in the CRC’s Choice Food Pantry, which served more than 4,000 individuals during 2012 from space of about 175 square feet. With the Lakeview building freed up to focus on material assistance efforts, the Family Services Program has the potential to expand to 1,500 square feet or more – allowing for increased and more efficient processing and delivery of services to local low-income families.
The CRC also will be able to move its Senior Services Department to the High Street building, as well as staff for Kinship Care operations and other support staff.
The popular Kids Club afterschool and Summer Care Program will continue to use space at nearby Clinton Heights Lutheran Church, although its administration will operate out of the High Street site. Clinton Heights has been a generous partner to CRC throughout the years, offering rooms for Kids Club as well as Senior Services.
CRC’s board conducted a feasibility study two years ago and it was determined that the agency needed 14,248 square feet. Ideally these services would be located under one roof, allowing for greater utilization of all our programs and opportunities for people of all ages and circumstances. Such buildings are difficult to come by in Clintonville, especially with the need for green space for the youth services. Three potential options identified in the feasibility study were purchased by other entities during the past year.
So when the Schlegel building became available, negotiations began. The facility is move-in ready and located in close proximity to the CRC’s other operations as well as on COTA’s No. 2 bus line. The off-street parking lot is part of the purchase.
This move is possible because of the CRC’s solid financial foundation, which has been developed through strong and ongoing community support.
The Lakeview facility, originally Clintonville’s first public library, will continue to provide clothing donations and will be available as a community meeting room and for the CRC’s weekly community meals (Sunday breakfasts and dinners on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Agency leadership will be exploring what renovations are needed there in order to address the community’s growing material assistance needs. The kitchen already is being upgraded, thanks to the contributions of two local donors, and a new children’s area and library will be developed soon with the support of many neighborhood volunteers.
The CRC is a Settlement House founded in 1971 that enables community members to assure that appropriate food, clothing, housing, health needs and social needs are available to all. It is funded by the United Way of Central Ohio, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, Franklin County Office on Aging, Columbus Foundation, city of Columbus, churches, citizen groups, businesses, individuals, fund-raising activities and specific grants; including a vital partnership with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
CRC and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank have worked in partnership for more than 20 years. Starting in May 2011, the CRC formed a strategic partnership to “get more food out” to neighbors who are “food insecure,” Owens said. This facility purchase is part of that partnership.
The purchase also helps the CRC strive forward in meeting its vision: “In the best tradition of Settlement Houses, we respond to the needs of our diverse community to foster safer, healthier, and empowered lives.”
For more information, contact Bill Owens at 614-268-3539 or Bill.Owens@clintonvillecrc.org. You also can view our “Frequently Asked Questions” by clicking here.