12:00 AM

Mayor, President Gee Open Neighborhood Policing Center

Mayor Michael B. Coleman and OSU President E. Gordon Gee joined community partners to celebrate the opening of the Moody Hall Neighborhood Policing Center serving the Ohio State University District and Weinland Park areas. The joint safety office at 248 E. 11th Ave. will house police officers at the location that formerly contained multiple residential units. The facility is named in honor of Bill Hall, OSU's former vice president of student affairs who died in 2005, and former Mayor Tom Moody, who died Thursday evening.

"As we mourn last night's passing of a great Columbus mayor, we celebrate the opening of this fine policing center," Mayor Coleman said. "I thank President Gee and Ohio State University for their partnership as our officers work together with residents to protect the safety of Weinland Park and the University District."

The $4.6 million, 16,000-square-foot facility was jointly funded by Ohio State University and the City of Columbus. It will serve as a unique, innovative safety center, housing Columbus Police, OSU Police, a Community Crime Patrol office and a Neighborhood Pride Center. The building has been certified by Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED) because of its energy-saving attributes. LEED is a national accreditation program that recognizes buildings that are constructed to save energy and protect the environment.

"This facility is a tangible example of the power of partnerships," said President Gee. "By pooling the talents and resources of the city, the surrounding community and Ohio State, we are helping to ensure a safer and more productive environment in which to live, study and work. I am grateful to our students, to our neighbors in the Weinland Park area, to Mayor Coleman and to countless others who are bringing their vision of a more vibrant community to life."

Columbus Police is moving 56 officers to the new site from the Substation for Precinct 4 at Arcadia and Deming Avenues, on the northern edge of the University District. This location currently also houses Fire Station #13, which will remain.

"The legacy and contributions of Bill Hall and Tom Moody are embodied in this new policing center, which will serve as a focal point for community cooperation and the continued development of the University and Weinland Park neighborhoods," said City Councilman Andrew J. Ginther, chair of the Public Safety Committee. "This building will not only make our city safer, but it will bring students, residents and police together to promote the quality of life in the neighborhoods and foster a unique spirit of collaboration."

The City invested almost $2.4 million and Ohio State invested $2.2 million in the project, which was constructed with input from area residents, neighborhood groups, university businesses and student government organizations. The City's portion included capital dollars included in past voted bond issues. Mayor Coleman asked residents to support Columbus's 2008 bond package, Issues 14-19 on the Nov. 4 ballot so the city can continue to make effective investments in neighborhoods and public safety.