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Dream of Roundtown Trail Becomes a Reality

By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald

CIRCLEVILLE — After six years in the planning, ground has been broken on the Roundtown Trail connecting the Pickaway County Family YMCA to the Circleville educational campuses. Actual construction is set to begin in a few weeks on the 1.48 mile recreational trail.

According to Chairman Dan Fouts, it took a few tries for the Roundtown Trail Committee to receive the needed $497,000 in grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Clean Ohio Recreational Trails Fund and the State of Ohio Capital Improvements Fund.

With some of those grants, Fouts said a 20 percent local match was required, and contributions from the following helped to raise more than $90,000: OCU, Pickaway County Commissioners, Sunrise Rotary, Pickaway County Family YMCA, Circleville City Schools, the City of Circleville, Berger Health Foundation, Washington Township Trustees, Circleville Township Trustees, Circleville High School Alumni Association, the Soldiers Monumental Association, the Pickaway County Park Board, and American Legion Post 34.

“We’ve had many disappointments, delays, frustrations, and setbacks, but through it all we stayed the course,” Fouts said. “It will provide opportunities for recreation and education as well as a much needed connector for students from Ohio Christian University to reach downtown without having to go on the busy State Route 22.”

According to OCU President Dr. Mark Smith, OCU has enrolled its largest class ever this year, and he says he cringes every time he sees a student walking down State Route 22.

“This trail opens up a new way for our students to access the town,” Smith said.

Smith said the trail will continue to strengthen relationships between OCU and Circleville City Schools. Most recently, the new OCU tennis and track programs have agreements to use the high school facilities.

“I just keep thinking everyday there is something new and something great happening in this county and it’s to the benefit of me as a resident and my family, but most importantly our students at the school,” Circleville City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Davis said.

Jeff Phillips, Executive Director of the Pickaway County Family YMCA, believes the trail will enable the YMCA to expand services to the community and strengthen connections with the connected schools.

“The groundbreaking of the Roundtown Trail is just one small step in the dream to connect all of our local parks, towns and villages with walking, running and biking trails,” Phillips said. “It’s also one giant leap for enhancing the quality of life in our community.”

If the weather cooperates, the Roundtown Trail is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Pictured are some of the Roundtown Trail committee members at the groundbreaking ceremony held on Tuesday at the Pickaway County YMCA.

Photograph and article courtesy of The Circleville Herald.