Neighborhood Roundup

Story ran on Tuesday, July 24 2001

It has been a long time coming, but now that Field Park is open, planning is under way to turn the old building at the corner of Rangeline Street and Wilkes Boulevard into a community resource center.

Project coordinator John Clark said there are many possibilities for the former drug store, grocery store and auto parts store.

Clark said the building would probably house some Caring Communities staff, be the site for agencies to provide services to the community and be available as public space.

"We’re excited," Clark said.

The North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association applied for an $85,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development that would help fix up the building. The group will find out in August if it won the grant.

Clark said a board is being set up now to deal with the renovation and plans for the building. After facing some opposition from those who wanted the building torn down, Clark said it’s nice to be planning for its future.

The board will consist of Eugene Field Elementary School principal Ed Schumacher, Third Ward councilman and Columbia College representative Bob Hutton, Betty Cook Rottman, NCCNA president Linda Rootes, David Wilson, local architect and Historic Preservation Commission member Brian Pape, executive director of the Central Missouri Counties Human Development Corp. David Thayer and a few other community members yet to be chosen.

"We want nearly full consensus" on decisions about the building, Clark said. "This is meant to be an ongoing thing."

He said the neighborhood and Columbia Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at Field Park Saturday to highlight the park’s completion and to kick off the planning phase for the building.

Columbia College will hold its summer commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Holiday Inn Expo Center, 2200 I-70 Drive S.W. Columbia mayor Darwin Hindman will be the featured speaker. The college will confer undergraduate and graduate degrees on approximately 170 students from its day, evening and extended campuses at the Columbia ceremony.

—Compiled by Justin Willett. You can reach Justin at (573)815-1720 or