ALBION — A plan to establish a new community center in Albion is getting a boost with the donation of a building and some additional property approximately 2 miles west of town.
On May 28, the Noble County Commissioners considered a rezoning request for about 6 acres of land at a former golf course at 2080 W. C.R. 300N, Albion.
Bill Emmert, who is part of a group working to establish a community center, acknowledged that while the location is outside of town, the building and the extra acreage would allow the community center to offer more and get it up and running in less time.
“We have been working on this project for several years, then we were offered a generous donation of the former clubhouse of the golf course,” Emmert said.
“This will probably cut a third out of that (fundraising) cost,” Emmert said, estimating it could help the community center get established about a year sooner. “And we realize it’s taking it out of town where we originally wanted to be, but we see some advantages of the open space out there.”
The previous plan would have had the community center on a 1-acre lot, which would only allow space for a building that could host indoor activities. At the former golf course, the center could have both indoor space and outdoor space for the warmer months.
The property is located approximately 2.1 miles west of the stoplight in downtown Albion. It’s located a bit further west of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, which is also located on C.R. 300N west of town, and at the intersection with Long Lake Road.
The community center would offer recreation opportunities but also programming for people of all ages, from K-12 students up through senior citizens, Emmert said.
“It’s not only recreation, which it will include, but we are connecting with the school and ARC and anyone else that we can to give a good experience to people of all ages,” Emmert said. “It gives us a lot of possibilities.”
The community center won’t have a kitchen or food service and it won’t be rented out for events, Emmert said. Likewise, it will have some basic fitness equipment so that it wouldn’t compete with more serious gyms. The goal, Emmert said, is not to compete with other businesses or organizations like the Noble County Saddle Club.
“It sounds like a win-win situation for you,” Commissioner Gary Leatherman said.
The commissioners unanimously approved rezoning the 6 acres from an A1 agriculture use to OS, open space, zoning.