Dozens of people came out for a public input session on a proposed Goshen Community Center Tuesday night.
Residents were presented with nine additional site options for the new center. Previously, the only site being considered was on a piece of land west of the Millrace Canal that previously housed the Goshen Street Department.
Tuesday night's meeting basically brought plans back to the drawing board. It was a very hands on meeting where 10 total locations were presented to the attendees, and surveys were handed out to solicit opinions about the criteria that should be established in selecting a site.
After residents listened to descriptions of the locations, they were asked to break out into groups to discuss the options. Each group then elected one representative who would share their thoughts at another meeting that will take place on March 12.
This is the first in a series of meetings to investigate cost-cutting measures for the proposed project.
Residents voiced concerns earlier this year that the original proposed site would be too expensive.
"The cost of the particular site that we were looking at is fairly high for the infrastructure and for the possible soil and also the fact that we were going to need to build a bridge," said Bruce Stahly, project director for the proposed Goshen Community Center.
A few residents said they were against spending the money to build a community center at all, but are glad to be able to have input into this project now.
"If they would have done this before, they might have saved a lot of time at the city council and getting people upset about the project," said Brenda Kramer, a lifelong resident of Goshen.
A special election for the Goshen Community Center had been set for May 7, but was delayed until Nov. 5 to give residents a chance to learn more about the project.
Plans for the $27.6 million center would include three types of swimming pools, a gym, and meeting space for the community.
Another presentation about the community center will be given at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce's next "Wake Up Goshen" event on February 14.
The 10 proposed sites are located on:
1) North Meadows by Hackett
2) Quality Drive
3) at the former Street Department (parcel west of Millrace Canal)
4) Plymouth Avenue
5) Dierdorff Road
7) Elkhart County 4-H Fairground
8) the site of the former Holiday Inn
9) Fidler Pond
10) the site of the former Western Rubber