In 2006 the Reeb Elementary School closed. Three years later the building was abandoned.
Abandoned can be used as an adjective for much of Columbus’ South Side: abandoned store fronts, abandoned homes, abandoned hopes and dreams. While abandoned is an easy perspective to have, there is energy and momentum that is moving the South Side of Columbus from one seen as abandoned to one recognized as rich with opportunity.
Today, I walked through $12 million of renovations that will result in the August opening of the Reeb Community Center. Fellow tenants navigated a work zone, walked through former classrooms, and dreamed.
More than a one-stop shop of community services, a vision sparked of how programs will integrate. Meals prepared by Mid-Ohio Foodbank will be served to kids engaged at the Boys and Girls Club. People will complete GEDs and gain job training skills while their kids benefit from a state-of-the-art learning development center. Senior citizens of the new Parsons Village will drink coffee with their neighbors. A community of people will reflect the growth in their neighborhood with growth in themselves as they shop in a fresh market and engage in health initiatives and programming.
Through it all, a true center of community will grow. A place not only where services will be received, but where relationships will form, hope will build, and the word abandoned will be replaced with opportunity.