Council proposes building swap to make way for Amtrak station and move Oxford Seniors to TRI

By Mary Anderson

Three Oxford institutions – Oxford Seniors, Talawanda schools and the TRI Community Center – will play musical chairs with their Oxford facilities if a plan approved by city council is ultimately funded.

On Nov. 1, city council authorized the city manager to apply for $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to renovate the TRI Community Center on Fairfield Road. Half of the money will be used to renovate the classrooms, preschool, restrooms, office and communal space in the current building, while the other half is designated for the construction of a senior wing, said city manager Jessica Greene.

The TRI building will get a senior wing if the city gets the funding. Photo by Exzun Zhu

City council’s approval of the resolution was unanimous.

“I really appreciate the intergenerational interactions that could come from this,” said council member Amber Franklin. “I am excited about it.”

The project is linked to Oxford’s plans to build an Amtrak station by 2026 where the Talawanda School District’s Morrow building currently stands, behind SDS Pizza on Chestnut Street. Holli Hansel, the director of communications and public relations for the district, said that the building contains an IT office, meeting areas and storage space.

Infographic by Luke Macy

When the Morrow building is knocked down, the school district will relocate to the current Oxford Seniors building on Tollgate Drive, while the seniors will move to the new wing of the nearby TRI.

Talawanda Schools will relocate to the Oxford Seniors building on Tollgate Drive if the plan moves forward. Photo by Enxun Zhu

According to the resolution approved by city council, the renovated TRI will also include a new community gym that will be funded by the TRI board.

If approved, the city’s application would be funded from the $74.4 million ARPA funds allocated to Butler County.