BOWLING GREEN — The Parks and Recreation Department plans to demolish the Veterans and Girl Scouts buildings in Bowling Green City Park, and build a single structure in their place.
While still in the initial planning phase, the proposed $4.6-million project would keep the same footprint of the current structures, while at about 12,000 square feet would provide significantly more space than the two buildings combined, department Director Kristin Otley said.
The project will be funded through bonds, and the department will use revenue from the 2-mill levy — 0.6 mills higher than before — residents overwhelmingly approved in 2016, so it will not require any new taxes. That increase brought in about $270,000 more annually for the department, and was approved by about 70 percent of voters.
“That is not costing our taxpayers any more money,” Ms. Otley said.
The Veterans building is an original from when the park was the Wood County Fairgrounds, while the Girl Scouts building was constructed later. Ms. Otley said she didn’t know if the structures had original names, but both become known as they currently are because of their prior uses. The parks department now uses them as program space and as rooms to be rented by the public.
Demolition could not begin until mid-August, 2018 because summer programming is held in meeting spaces within the buildings and the department would need the new structure completed by spring of the following year.
The current buildings are deteriorating to the point that remodeling is not financially prudent, Ms. Otley said. Consolidating the buildings also allows for better traffic flow at the front of the park and will give the department space to add additional parking. The current structures are also not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The parks department has expanded in recent years and has shifted focus to updating, renovating, and maintaining the facilities it has now.
There is no proposed name for the planned new building thus far.
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