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Frequently Asked Questions

We have created this FAQ sheet to help address questions that residents might have as the Upper Arlington Community Center project moves through the detailed design phase to construction. If you have any questions that are not addressed here, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to send us an email and check back for updates to this section.

What is currently under construction at the Kingsdale site?
Senior housing is currently under construction adjacent to the UACC site. The Community Center is still in the detailed design process.

Where will I park if I’m going to the community center?
The UACC is being planned with several parking areas that will be clearly identified with directional site signage. The majority of spaces will be provided in a parking garage that will be part of the apartment building located to the immediate east of the community center. Surface parking will be available at the northern end of the existing Giant Eagle parking lot. A limited number of parking spaces will be provided below the community center, designated for people with disability placards or other mobility challenges.

Will there be enough parking spaces?
Parking for the community center will be provided as part of the overall Kingsdale redevelopment. The City is working closely with the developer to ensure enough parking is available to accommodate all of the uses to be located on the site, including the community center.

How will you ensure there is enough parking for seniors and those with mobility challenges?
Dedicated parking for those with disability placards or mobility challenges will be provided beneath the community center. Direct elevator access will be provided from this parking area to the lobby. For those able to park a little further away, safe and attractive pedestrian-accessible routes will be provided from the parking areas to the community center entrance. Additionally, a drop-off lane is planned at the front entrance of the facility to aid in ease of access.

Will there be parking for bicycles?
Yes. Throughout the design process residents have stressed the importance of parking for bicycles. The facility will provide ample parking space for bicycles.

How many lap lanes will be provided in the pool?
We anticipate a minimum of three marked lanes will be available for lap swimming. As the design develops, we will continue to look at options for maximizing the number of lap lanes while still fulfilling the multi-use nature of the aquatics program.

Will I be able to reserve a time for lap swimming?
Yes. Lap swimming, with some reservable lane times, will be available at various times throughout each day, integrated with other programmed pool activities.

Why isn’t there a separate pool dedicated to fitness/lap swimming?
Space and budgetary constraints limit the size and scope of the aquatics program at the community center to one pool/mechanical system. As a result, it is being designed as a multi-use facility that maximizes the available space to best meet the needs of different age groups and user types. Additionally, the new natatorium at UA High School is used by Upper Arlington’s competitive swim groups, and we do not intend to host swim clubs or other competitive swim practices at the community center.

I thought the design of the Community Center had been decided by the Community Center Feasibility Task Force, what is this detailed design process about?
The Task Force process brought to light the types of uses needed/wanted by residents and developed a high-level concept for how those uses might be incorporated into the available footprint for a Community Center. The detailed design process is necessary to make sure all the desired uses can be brought together seamlessly and efficiently, within the available footprint, and on budget. It will provide all of the planning, drawings, and detailing necessary for the construction of the facility and involves many architectural, engineering, and other logistical components needed to bring the community’s initial vision to life.

What facilities will be in the Community Center?
The facilities and programming planned for the Community Center are a direct result of the input gathered by the Task Force early in the study process:

  • It will serve as the central community gathering place for events and celebrations that residents have asked for.
  • It will provide fitness, wellness, health, and leisure opportunities for all ages and interests.
  • It will provide seniors with new space that has been designed specifically to meet their needs, while also giving seniors access to many new programming opportunities.

The building program developed for the Kingsdale site is for a seven-story building. Five floors will be dedicated to the Community Center, with two floors set aside for professional office use. While the final programming will be determined as part of the detailed project design process, in general, the Community Center will include:

  • Entry/lobby, indoor pool, multi-purpose event/party space, locker rooms
  • Fitness/exercise spaces
  • 3 gymnasiums (1 multi-purpose)
  • Teen space, child watch
  • Walking/running track
  • Senior program shared classrooms
  • Event hall/ meeting space
  • Outdoor multi-purpose terrace

The detailed design process will further define these areas and explore options for the final layout and stacking of the facility.

How does the size of the senior lounge compare to the current senior center?
The senior lounge at the new community center will be around 1,400 square feet, compared to 450 square feet of lounge space in the existing senior center. The new senior lounge will be adjacent to a large outdoor deck, providing up to 3,000 square feet of additional gathering and programming space. Senior members will also have access to other parts of the community center, with senior-specific programming hosted in various rooms throughout the building.

Will there be space dedicated to seniors?
Yes. The senior focus groups stressed the importance of having a dedicated, comfortable space for seniors to socialize and have fellowship with one another. The senior lounge on level two will be dedicated to this use. It will be adjacent to the outdoor deck and will feature furnishings specifically selected to meet the needs of the senior population.

Where will my specific program be if the building isn’t exactly like the current senior center?
We have clustered three program rooms, including an arts and crafts room and a group fitness room adjacent to the senior lounge on the second floor. Every effort will be made to put our senior-oriented programs in those rooms unless they are too large or require different types of equipment. For an example of potential senior programming locations click here.

How is the City planning to pay for the construction of the Community Center?
The budgeted construction cost of $54 million includes 23% for contingencies and inflation. The City anticipates paying for the facility using a combination of funding sources:

  • $40 million in long-term debt
  • $5.4 million in private funds raised through the Upper Arlington Community Foundation
  • $8.8-$9 million in City reserves

The debt service for this investment is estimated to be approximately $2.3 million per year, and is expected to be repaid using:

  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues generated by the Kingsdale mixed-used development and other TIF districts around the City.
  • Annual hotel/motel revenues from the hotels on Lane Avenue.
  • Rent and income tax revenues generated by the office spaces located within the building.

How is the City going to pay to operate the Community Center?
A business model was developed based on usage and pricing structures for comparable facilities in other communities. Some of the keys to success include:

  • A focus on spaces that can be used for multiple purposes.
  • Incorporating senior programming as part of a larger facility.
  • Achieving staffing and operations efficiencies by bringing programs within one location
  • Providing a combination of memberships, drop-in fees, programming, and facility rentals.

A base-case pro-forma model projects full cost recovery, based on the proposed programming, a 3% market capture for memberships, and 70% program capacity. Under this model, the current $530,000 subsidy that supports Parks & Recreation programming would no longer be needed.

A stress test pro-forma projects a cost-recovery model of approximately 75%. This exercise was undertaken to account for potential down years (recession, pandemic, etc.). Under this model, the subsidy necessary to support operations would increase the current subsidy by approximately $250,000.

The City will continue to update and refine the operating Pro-forma throughout the detailed design process.

Will it be affordable to everyone who lives in UA?
Membership and usage fees would be comparable to market-rate membership and usage fees, and would be tiered – single adult, family, senior, etc. Additionally, the business model would include a dedicated scholarship fund to assist residents facing financial barriers to participation.

Will non-residents be able to use it?
The operating model includes non-resident usage as part of the service market. A non-resident will pay a premium rate while residents receive discounted rates. The City includes non-residents that work in UA and pay income taxes to UA as customers eligible for the resident rate. The rate structure is a tool utilized to prioritize resident usage of the facility.

Why is the City planning to include office space within the building?
The two floors of rentable office space – which would total approximately 50,000 square feet – are included as a revenue-generating and service enhancement opportunity. After issuing a request for proposals concentrated on health care providers, the City is in discussions with a preferred partner team to lease at least half of this space and to augment services within the Community Center. Any remaining leasable space will be highly marketable, since the Kingsdale site is surrounded by amenities, including direct access to the Community Center.

How can I be involved in the final design process?
MSA Sport is the lead design firm and is partnering with Perkins & Will and the City to plan a comprehensive community engagement process. Opportunities to be involved will be made available on this website. Information gathered during the process will be shared on this site for residents to follow.

Co-CREATE WITH US!

The City of Upper Arlington and the Parks & Recreation Department are committed to a transparent and collaborative design process for the new Community Center. Please use the form to sign-up for email updates and to provide us your feedback and questions.

City of Upper Arlington
3600 Tremont Rd, Upper Arlington OH 43221

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