Groveport Messenger - November 27th, 2022

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November 27 - December 10, 2022 www.columbusmessenger.com Vol. XL, No. 12

Hometown Realtor

Marylee Bendig

580 Main St., Groveport, OH 43125

(614) 218-1097


A name you KNOW,

the name you TRUST

Brawl at the high school

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove

Veterans Day

Groveport held its annual Veterans Day

ceremony on Nov. 11 in Veterans Park.

The guest speaker, Groveport resident

Mary Miller, who is chief human

resource officer at the Ohio Department

of Veterans Services and a military veteran,

said veterans are a “shining example

of valor, courage, and sacrifice...who

never waivered in defending the idea of

America and protecting our way of life.”

The 2022 Veterans Brick honorees in the

park are: U.S. Army - Lowell Mathews.

James McMahan, Robert Patrick; U.S.

Marine Corp - Jason Huston; U.S. Navy -

William Johnson, John Karlich, John

Pellior; and U.S. Air Force - Donald

Grant. Pictured above playing “Taps” at

the ceremony is Katie Cordle, who is the

Groveport Madison Middle School

South band director and assistant director

of the Groveport Madison High

School marching band. Visible behind

Cordle are some of the Hometown

Heroes veterans banners that were displayed

at major Main Street intersections

this year. These 2022 Hometown

Heroes Military Honorees were: U.S.

Army - Montgomery Dotson, Marion

Gray, Mark Keller, Wayne Whisman; U.S.

Marine Corp - Scott Clinger, David

Flowers; U. S. Navy - Bill Branscomb,

John Karlich; and U. S. Air Force - David

Frashier, Joseph Jackson, Jonathan

Pierce, William Schweinsberg. A new set

of Hometown Heroes banners are displayed

from Memorial Day to Veterans

Day each year. At right, members of

American Legion Robert Dutro Post 486

raise the flag at the ceremony.

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Officers from three police departments

responded to a brawl that broke out among

students at Groveport Madison High

School on Nov. 15.

According to Groveport Police Chief

Casey Adams, a disturbance occurred

among students in the school cafeteria

around 12:30 p.m. He said it is believed

that verbal altercation stemmed from a

dispute among students earlier that morning

at a school bus stop located outside of

the city of Groveport.

In a written statement, school officials

said that the verbal altercation was “broken

up before it could escalate into a fight.

Because of the large number of students

who gathered around, the school resource

officer requested additional police support

to ensure the situation remained under


About 10 police officers from the

Groveport Police, Madison Township

Police, and Franklin County Sheriffs

deputies responded. Officers spread out

around the cafeteria hoping their presence

would calm the situation, according to


“Our presence didn’t seem to phase the

kids,” said Adams.

Then, according to Adams, around 1

p.m., he saw students running to a nearby

academic hallway as what he termed, “a

large scale fight” involving about four students

broke out. He said a large crowd of

students gathered around to watch the

fight and make videos of it. School staff,

security guards, and police officers worked

to break up the fight and disperse the students.

As they did so, Adams said some

school staff, security personnel, and officers

were struck by punches from the fighting


“The students weren’t trying to hit the

officers and staff, but the kids were just

throwing wild haymakers,” said Adams.

Police made the decision to use pepper

spray to end the fight and disperse the

crowd. Adams said a full, four to five ounce

See BRAWL, page 2

Parents speak out about fights

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

A large crowd of parents and community

members came to the Nov. 17 Groveport

Madison Board of Education meeting on

expressing concerns about safety and security

issues at Groveport Madison High


The school is plagued by fights among

students and recently two students were

found to be in possession of guns while at

the school.

“We, as a board, administration, and

staff deeply care about the well the being of

our students,” said Board President Chris

Snyder. “We don’t have a simple answer for

all this. We are meeting with staff to work

to improve safety and security.”

Citizens’ reactions

Twelve citizens spoke at the meeting

about their worries about problems at the

high school. During the meeting, audience

members also called out from their seats

demanding immediate action from the

board and officials to end the fights and

related problems in the school.

Security solutions proposed from the citizens

included: installing metal detectors or

using metal detector wands at the school;

improving transparency in communications

from district officials to the citizens; listening

to suggestions from students on how to

improve the safety and culture at the high

school; making sure students know the consequences

of their actions; expelling and

banning repeat offenders from school (in

Ohio, if a student is expelled they cannot

attend any public school); increasing the

number of security personnel and hiring

more female security personnel (currently

the school has five security staff members

including one female, there are also two

See PARENTS, page 6

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PAGE 2 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - November 27, 2022


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Another gun found at high school


Continued from page 1

bottle of pepper spray was emptied on to the crowd.

“The decision is use pepper spray was made after

verbal and physical efforts to stop the fight and disperse

the crowd failed,” said Adams. “The use of pepper spray

prevented major injuries from occurring and stopped

the incident from getting further out of control.”

He said after the pepper spray was deployed the

crowd of students rushed out of the hallway.

Adams said there were no reported injuries from the

fights and those hit with pepper spray were treated.

When asked why the fights occurred, Adams said police


By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

For the second time in less than a month, a gun was

found on a student at Groveport Madison High School.

According to Groveport Police Lt. Josh Short, on Nov.

9 officers arrested an 18-year-old male student who was

in possession of a loaded SCCY 9mm hand gun.

Earlier, on Oct. 24, a 16-year-old male student was

found in possession of a loaded Glock 19 - 9mm handgun

at the school. That student was charged with illegal

weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety

zone, a fifth degree felony, and he was transported to

Franklin County Juvenile Detention, according to the

Groveport Police.

Regarding the Nov. 9 arrest, Short said school officials

had received a tip that the 18-year-old suspect

was in possession of a gun at school and the school

resource officer went with school security and administrative

staff to remove the suspect from class.

“At that time the suspect refused to listen to staff or

the officer and quickly walked from the building and

out to the front driveway,” said Short. “School

Resource Officer Boso called for assistance from patrol

officers and continued to follow suspect out toward

Hamilton Road. As the suspect reached the south

driveway, patrol officers arrived and approached suspect

who immediately dropped his backpack and complied

with officers’ orders. The gun was found in suspect’s


When asked why did the suspect brought the gun to

school, Short replied, “During his interview he told

officers he brought the gun to school for protection.”

Short said the 18-year-old suspect was charged and

jailed for illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon or dangerous

ordnance in a school safety zone, a fifth degree felony.

Short said, for the most part, issues like this incident

start at home.

“If parents/guardians are engaged with their children

they can better monitor their activity and help

them find safer and more appropriate ways to handle

neighborhood problems,” said Short. “When young people

have no parental over site or mature adult guidance

they often become societal problems.”

Short said when such issues are communicated to

Groveport Madison school staff they do their best to

navigate through the situation and maintain a safe

school environment.

“Over the past decade I have personally seen a

switch for school administrators working on educational

issues to dealing almost exclusively with discipline

and safety problems,” said Short. “We want to encourage

our community to continue letting school staff or

law enforcement know when there is credible information

about guns at our schools or and other school safety

concerns. Our last two gun arrests at the high school

have come from information received from concerned

district residents. We could not do this without the

community support.”

Short added the Groveport Police will meet with

officials from Madison Township Police and Fire and

the Groveport Madison school district to discuss the

recent gun issues at the school as well as other school

safety topics.

“Local law enforcement has a great relationship

with Groveport Madison Schools and we are in regular

communication about improving school safety,” said

Short. “The district regularly asks for our input on how

to improve and aggressively encourages officer presence

on campuses as a regular daily activity. Public

safety is a shared responsibility. This isn’t a just a

school district or law enforcement job - it takes a family,

a neighborhood, a community.”

“are not getting a lot of cooperation” from those involved.

No arrests were made yet, but Adams added, “We’ll

look at the security video to see who the instigators

were and pursue criminal charges. We are not going to

tolerate it.”

Recently two students were found in possession of

hand guns at the high school, but Adams said there

were no weapons involved or reported in the Nov. 15


“My big fear is if one day weapons were to get

involved with fights. Weapons would make a situation

10 times worse,” said Adams. “We are

aggressive whenever there are reports of

weapons at the school and we take immediate


Adams said representatives from the

Groveport Police, Madison Township Police,

and Madison Township Fire Department

will meet with Groveport Madison Schools

officials on Nov. 17 to discuss safety issues.

In a letter sent to parents, students, and

staff, Groveport Madison High School

Principal Duane Bland wrote, “While fights

of any kind are unacceptable and remain a

serious concern, it’s important to keep in

mind that the vast majority of our students

behave themselves as expected and consistently

follow the instructions of school personnel.

When students refuse to follow the

rules and cause disruptions for everyone

else, we will take firm action(s) to address

their behaviors.”


A Heritage Holiday

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Santa Claus is coming to


The city of Groveport will host its

Heritage Holiday on Dec. 4 from 3-6

p.m. in Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road

in Groveport.

Santa Claus, along with Mayor

Lance Westcamp, will make a grand

entrance to the event on a Madison

Township fire truck at 3 p.m. Kids

can visit with Santa Claus in the log

house from 3-6 p.m.

“The festival promotes community

pride. Heritage Holiday brings the

community together to participate in

holiday-themed activities, to view the

city’s tree lighting, and make memories,”

said Kristiauna Trelay,

Groveport Community Affairs executive


Trelay said that new to the event

this year is the addition of two live

music performances - by Wade & Darr

from 3-4:15 p.m. and Mora & Dalton from

4:30-5:30 p.m. - on Heritage Park’s main


“Also new will be an iceless skating rink

in the Heritage Park parking lot,” said

Trelay. “We are also excited to welcome the

Paddock Pub to the event. They will be providing

free beverages and cookies at the

park’s shelter house.”

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp, Santa

Claus, Mrs. Claus, and a group of happy elves

lighting the city’s Christmas tree, as well as

many more lights strung throughout Heritage

Park, at a past Christmas celebration in


The Groveport Madison Area

Community Choir will perform carols in

front of the Christmas tree in Heritage

Park from 5:30-6 p.m. and Santa and the

mayor will conduct the annual tree lighting

at 6 p.m.

Heritage Holiday also features hayrides

around Palm Pond, face painting, ice carvings,

kids’ crafts, and food trucks.

For information call 614-836-3333.

Cookies and candy

Groveport United Methodist Church,

512 Main St., Groveport, will host a

Christmas Cookie and Candy Sale on Dec.

10 from 9 a.m. - noon. Homemade holiday

cookies and candy (fudge) will be available

for purchase.

Township’s Santa parade

Madison Township will hold its annual

Santa Parade on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. The

parade travels through the streets of

Blacklick Estates. The route can be found

on the Madison Township Facebook page.

Our Family Caring For Yours


November 27, 2022 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 3





3246 Noe Bixby Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43232

Dr. Sacheen Garrison

5055 S. Hamilton Road

Groveport, OH 43125 614-836-0500


Heritag eritage Holida oliday

Sunday, December 4, 2022


- 6:00pm


age Park

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OH 43125

Tree Lighting

at 6:00pm




PAGE 4 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - November 27, 2022


Groveport City Council to reconsider fireworks ban

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

On Nov. 28, Groveport City Council will

vote on legislation to expand the use of personal

fireworks within the city limits.

The city’s existing law bans the use of

personal fireworks within city limits.

If approved, the proposed legislation

would make the city consistent with state

law to allow the use of personal fireworks

on designated days during the year.

The legislation would allow individuals

to possess consumer grade fireworks and to

discharge them on their own property or on

another person’s property with permission

on the following days: New Year’s Day;

Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo;

Memorial Day weekend; Juneteenth; July


3, 4, and 5 and the Fridays, Saturdays, and

Sundays preceding and following; Labor

Day weekend, Diwali; and New Year’s Eve.

State law permits local governments to

restrict the dates and times when individuals

may discharge consumer grade fireworks

or to impose a complete ban on the

use of consumer grade fireworks.

A previous attempt to enact the legislation

failed earlier this year. Councilman

Scott Lockett brought it back before council

because he said all the council members

were not present at the prior vote.

At council’s Nov. 21 committee meeting,

resident Greg Keller recommended council

limit the use of personal fireworks to only

the Fourth of July holiday instead of the

full slate of holidays listed in the state law.

370 Main Street & 370 Rear • Groveport, OH 43125

“It’s a very fine line between consumer

vs. commercial fireworks,” said Keller.

“Either kind can kill or maim. It’s a hazard

in an urban setting because there’s not

enough room to ensure safety.”

Keller also said the loud noise of fireworks

is harmful to military veterans suffering

from post traumatic stress syndrome

and to people’s pets.

“Protecting the safety of the citizens is

job one for council,” said Keller.

Council will vote on the fireworks issue

at its Nov. 28 meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the

municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

Other news

•Bruce Smith, one of the organizers of

the Blacklick Haunted Park held in

October, said the event drew about 1,800

visitors this year and raised $8,608 that

will be split between the Groveport Food

Pantry and Groveport Madison Human


“You’ve created an amazing event for

the city,” said Councilwoman Jean Ann


Groveport Madison Schools is requesting

a zoning variance for 4180 Bixby Road

from Groveport City Council to allow the

construction of a school bus garage facility.

The school district wants to build a new

$4.5 million transportation center that

would include a 9,900 square foot bus compound

building, along with the accompanying

bus lot and parking lot, at 4180 Bixby

Road. Because the 129 acre site is zoned as

rural, it needs council to approve a variance

for it. T

he site is located on school districtowned

land at the northeast corner of

Bixby and Hendron roads abutting Three

Creeks Metro Park.

“Basically, we’re out of space (at the

existing bus garage located behind the

District Service Center, 4400 Marketing

Place, Groveport), said Groveport Madison

Communications Director Jeff Warner earlier

this year.

Buses will continue to be parked at the

District Service Center, 4400 Marketing

Place, Groveport, while the district’s new

transportation center is under construction.

Warner said earlier this year that, if all

goes well, the district hopes to open the

new bus facility in the summer of 2023.

•Council is also considering a zoning

variance request for property at “0”

Hendron Road (site of the former

Groveport Madison Recreation Club swimming

pool site, which is now a vacant lot) to

allow for the construction of 4,067 square

foot veterinary clinic.

The site is currently zoned for suburban

office, which does not include veterinary

offices as a permitted use.

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Columbus, Ohio 43232

Telephone: 614-837-4601

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Sunday Worship 10 a.m.

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Sunday School 9 a.m.

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PHONE: 614-836-5611


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Cookie Reception Following


Groveport Madison gets

updated enrollment estimates

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Groveport Madison Schools officials

recently received updated student enrollment

projections and will use the information

to determine how to address overcrowding

issues in the district.

One issue is determining the cost and

finding funds to create more space at the

high school.

The numbers

Earlier this year the district contracted

with Cropper GIS Consulting for a school

capacity study and an enrollment demographic

study at a cost of $35,500. Also, as

part of the Master Facilities Plan process,

the board also approved contracting with

SHP Architects for $77,000 for facility planning

regarding the potential renovation,

expansion, or replacement of the district’s

existing elementary and middle schools.

The district’s current student enrollment

is 6,351, according to district officials.

As of October 2021, the district had

6,271 students. Enrollment was 5,569 in

2015-16. Total enrollment is expected to

rise to 6,652 by 2029-30.

According to district officials, here is the

current, updated enrollment per school

building (building classroom capacity is in

parentheses): Asbury Elementary: 488

(385); Dunloe Elementary: 492 (444);

Glendening Elementary: 477 (480);

Groveport Elementary: 464 (408); Madison

Elementary: 354 (359); Sedalia

Elementary: 629 (456); Middle School

Central: 467 (463); Middle School North:

510 (583); Middle School South: 467 (485);

High School: 1,889 (1,500).

Making space at the high school

According to district officials, the original

design capacity for the new high school

was set at 1,500, based on the Ohio School

Facilities Construction Commission’s

Facilities Master Plan (which included

OSFCC enrollment projections). When the

OSFCC shared its enrollment projections,

the board and the district’s administration

disagreed with the OSFCC, believing their

projections to be substantially low, especially

at the high school.

“Despite the districts objections, the

high school was constructed for 1,500 students,”

said Groveport Madison

Superintendent James Grube in an interview.

“Knowing there were already 1,900

plus high school schools enrolled before its

opening, the district spent a portion of its

local share of the project’s budget on

upgrading the foundation and HVAC components

of the building to accommodate a

future addition to the front of the southeast

wing of the school.”

Grube said discussion centers on building

out classrooms in some of the extended

learning areas at the end of each of the

school’s wings. He said there is space to

construct 12 classrooms within the existing

footprint of the high school building.

Groveport Madison Communications

Director Jeff Warner said there is almost

$5 million in funds left over from the high

school construction project. Of this amount

$2.4 million is the district’s local share and

$2.6 million is the state’s share.

“We believe we should have those

funds,” said Warner.

However, the OFCC considers the project

closed and rejected releasing the

remaining state funds to the school district.

Warner said the district also has about

$1 million in its permanent improvement

fund available.

The Groveport Madison Board of

Education approved obtaining estimates

for potentially constructing more space at

the high school.

Warner said the project to create additional

space at the high school would entail

converting existing space within the building’s

wings. He said the work could be done

this summer.

Modular classrooms

Regarding the elementary and middle

schools, it is not yet determined how many

additional modular classrooms will be

needed. Currently the district has 24 modular

classrooms in use, including a single

quad-classroom unit at Groveport

Elementary, two double-classroom units at

Asbury Elementary and Dunloe

Elementary, and six double-classroom

units at Sedalia Elementary.

The cost of additional modular classrooms

is still to be determined. Warner

said the modulars would most likely be

leased and that the northern part of the

district is in the most need of space.

Ballot issues

A potential bond issue to fund new

buildings could appear on the November

2023, May 2024, or August 2024 ballot. A

bond issue must pass by August 2024 or

else the district would have to reapply for

OFCC funding.

The district’s five year renewal general

operating levy is tentatively scheduled for

the November 2024 ballot as that is latest

date it can be approved for the district to

start collecting money in 2025.



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November 27, 2022 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 5

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PAGE 6 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - November 27, 2022


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Groveport Police statistics

October crime statistics, according to

the Groveport Police: 2 arrests, 24 accidents,

4 assaults, 1 burglary, 13 domestic

disputes, 1 domestic violence, 1 OVI and

alcohol, 17 thefts/robberies, 3 stolen/unauthorized

use, 6 missing persons, 5 weapon

related calls, 0 narcotic related offenses, 8

threats, 5 vandalism, 14 juvenile complaints,

81 traffic citations, 2 sex related

crimes, 23 school related calls, 8 suicide

attempts/mental health.

Income tax revenue


Continued from page 1

school resource police officers - one each

from the Groveport and Madison Township

police departments); providing more mental

health counseling; eliminating the use

of backpacks; reducing overcrowding in the

high school; and creating a long term safety

and security plan.

Several parents said their kids are

scared to attend the high school, including

John Weston who said his son is afraid to

go to the school. Weston said fights happen,

but the real threat is weapons in backpacks.

“There are more weapons there than

anyone knows,” said Weston. “A culture of

disrespect exists at the school. Give the

students clear rules and let them know the

ramifications of what they do.”

Citing the dangers, Mechelle Raine said

there is “no way her child” will attend the

high school.

Added Jocelyn Houck, “Transparency is

an issue from the top down at Groveport

Madison. Everyone needs to know the consequences

of their actions.”

Jennifer Silva noted her son said kids at

the school are angry and every day there

are fights, especially in the restrooms.

“Every child deserves to be safe,” said

Thomas Ridenour.

Kathryn McCormick said she cannot

believe what is happening at the school.

“This is not Groveport. It’s ruining

pride. It’s ruining property values. It’s

infecting the kids’ mental health. There’s

no reason for kids to go to school scared.

Please help us!” McCormick told the board.

Harold MacHarrie believes school officials

have “lost control of the school’s environment.”

“These are not typical schoolyard

fights,” said MacHarrie. “Heads are getting

stomped on. It’s become a failing

school district because kids are not safe.”

Brandie Walton said the problems at

the school are conditioning kids to feel that

trauma is normal.

“We need an actionable plan,” she said.

Anthony Murphy of Lead The Way

Learning Academy said the district must

give students a voice.

S. Brad Wilson said he was “disgusted

by the school system” and plans to send his

kids to school elsewhere.

Shaun Raleigh said, “All Groveport

Madison students deserve better. Put student


The city of Groveport’s income tax revenue

year-to-date as of Oct. 31 was $18.3

million, which is 22 percent higher than

the same time in 2021, according to

Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr.

Carr noted the general fund balance was

$9 million as of Oct. 31 or $2.1 million

higher than the same time last year.

Income tax revenues year-to-date comprise

55 percent of all city revenues, the largest

part of all the city’s revenues.

Groveport Garden Club

The Groveport Garden Club meets the

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Zion Lutheran Church, 6014 Groveport

Road. Call (614) 218-1097.

and staff safety above ineffective policies.”

Board and administration reactions

Board member Libby Gray said her

heart goes out to the parents and the community.

“We need a safety plan,” said Gray. “We

can’t wait. We have to do something. Kids

cannot be educated if they are scared.”

Board member Seth Bower said the

board has heard the community “loud and

clear” and the district “needs to do something


Board member Kathy Walsh said safety

policies must be reviewed, student offenders

must be expelled, community roundtable

discussions about the high school

should be held, and more social workers

and security personnel should be hired.

Board member LaToya Dowdell-Burger

said she heard the sentiments of the public

about safety. She suggested students using

clear backpacks so no weapons could be

hidden in them and establishing a student

advisory council to the board.

Snyder said district is working on the


“We want to make sure everyone is

safe,” said Snyder. “We’re all in this together.”

Audience members called out during the

board’s comments stating, “There’s no time

to wait for research,” “We need action and

we need it now,” “Protect our kids,”

“Enough is enough,” and “Groveport is better

than this.” Audience members also

offered to personally pay for metal detector


Superintendent James Grube said officials

are “actively working” on changes and

improvements to how the high school operates,

security, and discipline.

Deputy Superintendent Paul Smathers

said, “We care so much. We are worried.

There are so many talented kids that are

being overshadowed by all this.”

Safety hotline

Students and adults can anonymously

share information with school officials and

law enforcement about threats to student

safety by calling or texting to 844-SaferOH

(844-723-3764). Calls are answered by the

Ohio Homeland Security’s Threat

Assessment and Prevention Unit. When

action is needed, the TAP Unit immediately

notifies school officials, law enforcement

agencies and others, if necessary.


Our Pictorial Past by Rick Palsgrove

School buses bought

The Groveport Madison Board of

Education approved the purchase of four

Cummins 72 passenger school buses from

Rush Truck Centers at a cost of $119,311

each (for a total expenditure of $477,244).

Keep tabs on the latest news in

Groveport & Madison Township

Look for Groveport Messenger on

Become a fan!

November 27, 2022 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 7




(Distribution: 8,000)

Rick Palsgrove ...................................Groveport Editor


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responsible for checking accuracy of items submitted for publication.

Errors in advertising copy must be called to the attention of the company

after first insertion and prior to a second insertion of the same advertising


Interurban depot


saving time

on a haircut.

Photo courtesy of the Groveport Heritage Museum

Pictured is an early 20th century photo of the Scioto Valley Traction Line depot in

Groveport, which was located on th northwest corner of Blacklick Street and Brook

Alley. The SVTL was an electric railway that operated through Groveport and around

Central Ohio from 1904 until about 1930. The interurban rails are still visible embedded

in Blacklick Street. The interurban was powered by electricity. A “third rail” carried

a 600 volt electric current that propelled railway cars along standard rails.

Looking great has never

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Gro oveport Rd Main St


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PAGE 8 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - November 27, 2022


Historic gymnasium turns 70 years old

The cavernous historic gymnasium at

Groveport Madison Middle School Central is

now 70-years-old.

Editor’s Notebook



Built as part of a

then new Groveport

Madison High School

in 1952, this gym was

the third home for

Cruiser winter athletes.

The first Groveport Madison gym was not

a gym at all, but the second floor ballroom of

Groveport Town Hall where the boys and

girls basketball teams played from the early

1900s to 1922. In 1923 the basketball teams

played in the gym in Groveport School.

In 1952 a new gym was built beside

Groveport School (now Groveport

Elementary). It was the first phase constructed

in what would become Groveport Madison

High School (and later Middle School

Central) on Main Street. When it was built,

this gym was the largest high school gym in

Franklin County. Its features included spacious

balconies, a linoleum tile playing floor,

and a large theatrical stage at its south end.

The gym served as the Cruisers’ home court

until 1971 when the teams moved into a then




READ US ONLINE: www.columbusmessenger.com

new high school gym on South Hamilton

Road — which itself was replaced when the

new high school was built in 2018.

The 1952 gym looks much different now

than it did in its glory years when it was

home to teams like the 1963-64 Mid-Eight

League boys basketball champions.

The 1952 gym today has fewer bleachers,

but still has its sprawling balconies and huge

stage which afford great viewpoints for

games. The linoleum tile floor of its early

years was later covered with carpeting, but

thankfully the tile and carpeting were

replaced years ago by a nicer wood floor.

In its heyday, large, enthusiastic crowds

filled the massive old gym in the 1950s,

1960s, and early 1970s.

In an interview six years ago, former

Cruiser basketball player and 1971

Groveport Madison graduate Buddy Waters

said of the 1952 gym, “It was very loud. With

the pep band playing and people yelling you

could hardly hear. What a great gym!”

Waters said he has great memories of the

gym besides the basketball games, including

homecoming dances, proms, concerts, and

other events.

“The class of 1971 was the last varsity

team to play there,” said Waters. “I remember

the balcony was always full as were the

bleachers. Mr. Neil Stevenson worked the

Pick-Up At These


Groveport Senior Village - 5124 Hendron

Madison Township Office - 4575 Madison Lane

Paddock Pub/Groveport Golf Ctr. - 1005 Richardson Rd.

Southeast Library - 3980 S. Hamilton Rd.

Asbury Methodist Church - 4760 Winchester Pike

Groveport Municipal Building - 655 Blacklick St.

Groveport Town Hall - 648 Main St.

Flyers PIzza/Groveport - 296 Main St.

Ace Hardware - 726 Main St.

Little Italy Pizza - 619 Main St.

Huntington Bank/Groveport - 556 Main St.

Groveport Recreation Center - 7370 Groveport Rd.

popcorn machine

located in the lobby as

you came in from the

outside. The gym

doors from the lobby

we’re always open

and I can remember

the smell of fresh popcorn

and Mr.

Stevenson looking in

and cheering.”

The old gym, now

seven decades old,

still sees a lot of

action as Middle

School Central teams

and fans keep the

place alive.

One may say,

“Well, it’s just an old

gymnasium.” But, it

is our shared public

places - like gyms,

parks, churches,

schools, downtowns,

and even our neighborhood

streets and

sidewalks - that

spark memories,

create immersive

experiences, and

maintain a connection

to our past,

present and future.

Such places link a

community together.

Rick Palsgrove is

editor of the Groveport


Photo from the 1965 Madisonian

A jump ball in the former Groveport Madison High School gym on Main Street in 1965.

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove

A jump ball in the same gym from the same perspective in 2016. The Groveport Madison

Cruisers varsity basketball team (white uniforms) played a one time home game in the old

gym against Hamilton Township on Dec. 3. 2016. The Cruisers shone bright in their former

home with an 80-34 victory.

Photo courtesy of the Groveport Heritage Museum

The former Groveport Madison High School gym on Main Street as it looked when it was

new in 1952. The gym originally was a free standing, independent building until the classroom

and cafeteria wings of the high school were built. The school was built in stages

from 1952-56 and is now Middle School Central.


November 27, 2022 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 9


Deadlines: Grove City, Groveport & All editions - Mondays at Noon.

West, Canal Winchester, South & Madison editions -Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy of the city of Groveport

Brunch and song

The Columbus Chorus Sweet Adelines performed musical

selections at a brunch held at Groveport Town Hall on Nov. 19.

Eastland-Fairfield open house

Students interested in attending or learning more about the

programs offered at Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical

Schools are invited to the district’s open house Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m.

Eastland Career Center and Fairfield Career Center will open

their doors to prospective students and their families, and anyone

interested in enrolling in the Eastland-Fairfield school district

through its programs.

All programs at Eastland or Fairfield

Career Center will have their labs open for tours and staff will

answer questions. Plan to visit the career center that is the home of

your programs of interest.These satellite programs will be on hand

at Eastland Career Center for those interested in applying:

Marketing & Logistics Management, Teaching Professions, and


Open House is open to students of all ages, though it is highly

encouraged for high school students in their freshman, sophomore,

or junior years. Adult education options will be on display

at both campuses, courtesy of EFCTS Adult Workforce

Development. If high school seniors or other family members are

interested in adult programming, visit our staff on site for information.Visit

EastlandFairfield.com/OpenHouse for information.

Holiday Train display

Columbus Metropolitan Library is hosting a free holiday open

house on Nov. 30 at its Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave. in

Columbus. From 6-8 p.m., families can enjoy activities, sing-along

carols and refreshments, plus a visit from live reindeer and a very

special guest. The biggest draws will be the tree-lighting of

Topiary Park and the return of the Huntington Holiday Train. A

ceremonial switch will be flipped on for the train, which will

delight library customers through Jan. 8, 2023. Parking for the

event in Main Library’s attached garage will be free.

The 600-square-foot Huntington Holiday Train includes multiple

miniature trains running on more than 280 feet of track surrounded

by more than 50 pounds of snowflakes. The miniature

buildings are modeled after actual structures in Germany.

This marks the 30th year of the holiday attraction, which was

built in 1992 by Applied Imagination founder Paul Busse. The

train was originally displayed in the lobby of the historic

Huntington building at Broad and High streets. In 2009,

Huntington loaned the train to CML.

Highlights include a six-foot-tall cathedral, an eight-foot-tall

castle and a waterfall that pumps 600 gallons of water an hour.

Each building in the display took between one and three weeks to

create. The entire display takes two days to set up.

The Huntington Holiday Train will be on display through Jan.

8 during regular library hours — Monday through Thursday from

9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and

Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The first hour of parking in the library

garage is free.

For information, visit columbuslibrary.org.

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HTHS Rangers Marching Band

Jack Frost Winter Bazaar

“One Stop Christmas Shopping”

“One Stop Christmas Shopping”

Saturday, Dec. 3rd 9am-3pm

Dec 4th

Hamilton Intermediate School

Hamilton Intermediate School

765 Rathmell Rd., Columbus, 43207

765 Rathmell Rd., Columbus 43207

Over 80 Vendors & Several Community Partners

Over Food, 60 Raffle vendors, & Music Mr. provided & Mrs. by Claus, HTHS Band Food,

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Admission: $1 Per Adult FREE - Students/Children




Sunday, Dec. 11, 7:00pm

All are Welcome!

Come celebrate the

Christmas season with an

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2022 - 6:00 P.M.



#2022-05 A request by Jim Voorhis representing

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November 27, 2022 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 11

xClassified Services


Need to Get Rid of Something Fast - Advertise It Here For FREE!

Deadlines are Mondays by Noon

Call For Publication Schedule 614-272-5422

FREE Garden Straw for gardens or bedding. Call for appointment for pickup.

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along surplus building materials, furniture, electronic equipment, crafts, supplies,

appliances, plants or household goods to anybody who will come and get them - as

long as they’re FREE. NO PETS! Just send us a brief note describing what you want to

get rid of, along with your name, address and phone number. Nonprofit organizations

are welcome to submit requests for donations of items.

Send information to The Columbus Messenger, Attention: Come and Get It, 3500

Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH43204. Deadline is Mondays at NOON for following

Sunday’s publication. Messenger Newspapers is not responsible for any complications

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12/4 A&M

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PAGE 12 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - November 27, 2022


Financial forecast indicates more revenue needed for Groveport Madison Schools

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Groveport Madison Schools are expected

to face a revenue shortfall of $3 million by

the end of fiscal year 2023.

According to the latest five year financial

forecast, the district’s expenses are

projected to exceed the district’s revenues

by $18 million by fiscal year 2027 if additional

revenue is not generated, according

to the district’s latest five year forecast.

“The district would need to cut its fiscal

year 2027 projected expenses by 16 percent

“A worsening cash balance can erode

the district’s financial stability over time.

A positive cash balance and having

cash on hand gives us time to plan.”

- Felicia Drummey, treasurer

Groveport Madison Schools

in order to balance its budget without additional

revenue,” said Groveport Madison

Treasurer Felicia Drummey.

She added that the district’s cash balance

is positive by the end of fiscal year

2023, but is expected to worsen by fiscal

year 2027.

“A worsening cash balance can erode the

district’s financial stability over time,” said

Drummey. “A positive cash balance and

having cash on hand gives us time to plan.”

According to the forecast, the district

receives 42 percent of its revenue from

property taxes, 40 percent from state funding,

and 18 percent from other sources.

One reason for a decrease in revenue,

according to Drummey, is because a change

in state funding which distributes money

where students attend school, not where

they live. Also, even though property valuations

are growing at almost 5 percent

annually, revenue is at only 1.22 percent

annually because a recent state law

reduces millage to offset inflationary


Salaries make up 52 percent of expenditures,

benefits are23 percent, and services

are15 percent.

According to Drummey, salary expenses

increase an average of 7 percent annually.

Benefits’ costs are also rising an average of

8.5 percent.

She noted spending has decreased annually

overall since 2018 with one of the reasons

for it being the effect of COVID closures

reducing operating costs.

The district’s most recent operating levy

was renewed by voters in 2019 and it is set

to expire in 2024. That five-year levy was a

“no new taxes” levy and it was the renewal

of an existing levy.

The earliest the district’s existing five

year renewal general operating levy can be

placed on the ballot is November 2023. It is

tentatively scheduled for the November

2024 ballot as that is latest date it can be

approved for the district to start collecting

money in 2025. Drummey noted the levy is

collecting almost 2 mills less than when it

was first approved in 2014 due to changes

in state law.

“We have maintained control of our

spending, but now are seeing the resumption

of normal inflationary trends due to

universal rising costs,” said Drummey. “We

can use the winter months for strategic

planning to determine action steps. Budget

reductions are likely necessary as well as

seeking additional levy revenue. We need

to plan for how best to address overcrowding

and modernization with our facilities.”




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