Former Eastside center to see new life, new name

Correction: The starting time of the May 5th event is 5 p.m. It was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.

The former Eastside Community Center will be getting a new name and organizers are taking a new look at its role in the community.

The center will be renamed after Roby Anderson, who founded the center out of a garage at his home in the 1960s. The city of Columbus will hold a ceremony on May 5th to honor the memory of Roby and his wife America says Dascal Bunch, the city councilman for the neighborhood.

Although the center closed last fall and its board disbanded, the United Way of Bartholomew County has reopened the center for some activities and asked neighborhood residents at a meeting last night what they would like to see happen there.

Julie Bilz, president of the State Street Area Association said there were a lot of good ideas. Residents suggested more activities, classes, block parties and meals at the center.

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Julie Aton, a member of the State Street Area Association, said that sometimes people don’t really appreciate something until it is gone..

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Bunch says that the early days of the center made the building into a true neighborhood center and gave people ownership in its efforts, he said.

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The city of Columbus will hold a ceremony on May 5th starting at 5 p.m. to honor the memory of Roby and his wife America, Bunch says. There will be a spaghetti dinner that night and Mayor Jim Lienhoop will proclaim that day as Roby Anderson Day and present the Anderson family with a plaque. A plaque will also be mounted on the wall of the center and the sign on the front of the building will be repainted, Bunch said.