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Scioto Peninsula Makeover To Feature New Vets Memorial, Zoo
Local leaders announced today a new plan for the 56-acre area that borders the Scioto River and downtown Columbus.
The plan is a several year, several project plan that is highlighted by a new veterans memorial, a downtown Columbus Zoo experience, the narrowing of the Scioto River and the creation of a new neighborhood with retail and housing. The current Franklin County Veterans Memorial entertainment and events complex will be torn down and rebuilt into a glass and steel museum and open-air amphitheater.
Guy Worley, President of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, announced the plan to reporters and community members at WOSU@COSI, and said the project will be centered around COSI and is aimed at reconnenting Franklinton to downtown.
Construction on the project will begin this fall with the removal of the Main Street low head dam.
The project plans include 33 new acres of green space on the riverfront which also include a riverfront arboretum with up to 1,000 new trees.
â€œThis will be our new central park,â€ said Worley.
Worley announced that the new veterans memorial will be a memorial to not only Franklin County veterans, but all of Ohio’s veterans. The memorial is being financed by a $25 million gift from Limited founder Les Wexner and his wife, Abigail.
The new downtown Columbus Zoo experience, dubbed the Columbus Zoo Indoor Adventure, will bring a part of the Columbus Zoo to a facility on the banks of the Scioto River. The space will be just south of COSI and feature an aquarium, rainforest, educational facility, stage for presentations and a place to play.
Worley said there have been eight different plans for this area since 1908, and said that this would be the time that the project is finished, and finished how city leaders want it.
Worley said the plan will have a huge focus on education. Not only at COSI, but at the veterans memorial and the Columbus Zoo.