New plans in place for former Hithergreen Center in Washington Twp.

WASHINGTON TWP. — The long-debated future of the former Hithergreen Center in Washington Twp. hinges on the Centerville-Washington Park District's ability to secure grant funding to demolish the building and turn the property into a park, an answer residents should learn early next month.

"If we don't get the grant, the park district wouldn't move forward with the project," said Nick Meyer, planning and project manager for the park district.

The Hithergreen Center, 5900 Hithergreen Drive, closed several years ago when the township moved senior programming to other township facilities.

Meyer said the park district entered into a contract with the township Oct. 8 and submitted an application for grant funding to the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Tuesday.

"The township currently has the property under contract with the Centerville-Washington Park District contingent upon the district securing grant funds for the demolition of the building," said Jackie Curl, spokeswoman for Washington Twp.

In May, voters failed to pass a zoning amendment, which if passed would have permitted developer Tom Peebles to build homes on 30 lots on the property.

Previous plans also have included a proposed assisted living facility.

Curl said the park district has not been submitted a plan to the township for the development of the property, however Meyer said it plans to turn the property into a park for the surrounding community.

The total cost of the project, which would include the purchase and demolition of the former Hithergreen Center, as well as removal of asphalt on the property, would be $750,000, Meyer said. Meyer added that 75 percent would be funded by grant dollars and the other 25 percent would be funded by the park district.

The park district will find out Dec. 4 if they will be awarded the grant money from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.