Jun 3, 2022 - Politics

Ohio to fund variety of Columbus parks, arts projects

Parkgoers running and bicycling on a path.
The new state capital budget invests millions to improve parks and trails throughout central Ohio. Photo: Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network

How much do you spend on summer projects?

  • Ohio has ambitious plans for community improvements starting this summer, paying big bucks to expand bike trails, support the arts and restore the boyhood home of a World War I flying ace.

Driving the news: State lawmakers passed the $3.5 billion capital budget this week. It now awaits approval from Gov. Mike DeWine.

  • This budget comes around every two years and this time it's paid for with a mixture of state and federal funds, including the American Rescue Plan Act.

Noteworthy local projects to be funded this year include:

🏫 School security: Each school building can receive up to $100,000 toward safety improvements like installing new metal detectors.

  • $5 million will be distributed to college campuses.

🚲 Get movin': Several area parks and trails will be spruced up, including a Heritage Rail Trail extension, a new bridge over Alum Creek in Bexley and a veterans memorial at Rose Run Park in New Albany.

🔌 High-tech education: The Ohio Supercomputer Center on Ohio State's campus gets $7 million for new equipment to research artificial intelligence.

ğŸŽµ Music and art: The Columbus Symphony Orchestra will receive $2 million to support programming like the ongoing Summer Night Music concerts, while $350,000 goes to the Columbus Museum of Art.

🔨 Preserving history: Around $8.5 million will pay for rehabbing the Ohio History Center and nearby Ohio Village, plus building a new collections storage facility and digitizing the state's archives.

ğŸŽª Better fairgrounds: The Ohio Expo Center is getting over $20 million to improve the state fairgrounds and develop a "long-term vision" for the area.

Separately, the budget offers further economic incentives supporting Intel's new megaproject in Licking County.

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