Monday, December 8, 2008

Martin Janis Center due to close Dec. 31st

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The Martin Janis Center will close December 31st due to budget cuts. This unique center is housed on the border of the State Fairgrounds and it is a shame that it has to close. It is located on a main busline and is completely handycap accessable. The building itself is uniquely designed to resemble a pyramid. I have been attending a ceramics class there off and on for a year. The layout is great in that the lower level is jam packed with work spaces that house The Columbus Model Train Club (pictured here), a complete wood shop that is staffed by volunteers. It has the only Lapidary workshop that I know of in Columbus. I haven't explored the Stain Glass workshop, but I have worked in the Ceramic lab and there are several wheels and kilns to meet the needs of potters of all skill levels. On the ground floor there is a beautiful stage that seats over 400 people. Also a mirrored dance floor that is perfect for dances and enough room for a live band. The building is well maintained and staffed. I have not visited the library or the fitness room, but I plan on looking in on these spaces and taking some pictures to share on this blog. It is my understanding this 38,000 square foot space is staffed by 3 with 1 maintenance person. There is a kitchen with a nice cafeteria that serves $4 meals. This facility is leased for a $1 a year. All in all there are 36 different classes and programs. I will keep you posted as to what is happening with this loss. I am hoping that enough people will step up to the plate and try to work something out. It would seem to me that the Davis Center curriculum could easily be merged with the Janis Center rather than lose both these recreation centers. I for one will be writing letters to my legislators and city council members to try to get them to reconsider. In times like these we need to figure out how to utilize spaces such as The Janis Center rather than keep them closed. I think we could raise the prices for the classes and rent out the dance floor and auditorium. I can imagine keeping the Center open on weekends to expand its use rather than close the doors on the opportunity to make more money.

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