Oxford council proposes building swap to make way for Amtrak station

Three Oxford institutions — Oxford Seniors, Talawanda schools and the TRI Community Center — will play musical chairs with their Oxford facilities if a plan approved by city council is ultimately funded.

On Nov. 1, city council authorized the city manager to apply for $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to renovate the TRI Community Center on Fairfield Road. Half of the money will be used to renovate the classrooms, preschool, restrooms, office and communal space in the current building, while the other half is designated for the construction of a senior wing, said city manager Jessica Greene.

City council’s approval of the resolution was unanimous.

“I really appreciate the intergenerational interactions that could come from this,” said council member Amber Franklin. “I am excited about it.”

The project is linked to Oxford’s plans to build an Amtrak station by 2026 where the Talawanda School District’s Morrow building currently stands, behind SDS Pizza on Chestnut Street. Holli Hansel, the director of communications and public relations for the district, said that the building contains an IT office, meeting areas and storage space.

When the Morrow building is knocked down, the school district will relocate to the current Oxford Seniors building on Tollgate Drive, while the seniors will move to the new wing of the nearby TRI.

According to the resolution approved by city council, the renovated TRI will also include a new community gym that will be funded by the TRI board.

If approved, the city’s application would be funded from the $74.4 million American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to Butler County.

The Oxford Observer is a content partner of the Oxford Press. See it online at oxfordobserver.org.

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