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Township moves ahead with memorial park
Township moves ahead with memorial park
By JOAN DEMIRJIAN
Bainbridge Trustees will move forward with a plan to build a veterans memorial and gazebo on the site of the Bainbridge School, adjacent to Town Hall.
Trustees Matthew Lynch and Linda White authorized architect Stephen Ciciretto on Monday to draw up bid documents for the memorial park, which is expected to cost about $200,000.
Trustee Jeffrey Markley, who was not at the meeting, said later the project was being rushed through without due deliberation.
The plan outlined by Mr. Ciciretto this week includes moving the historic Bissell-Tucek house to the site.
The hope is to start with the moving of the house and construction of the veterans memorial and gazebo this fall, according to Trustee Matthew Lynch. He hopes they will be ready for use on Memorial Day 2010, he said.
Outlining the plan, Mr. Ciciretto said the veterans memorial would be located where the flagpole area is currently situated at the front of the old Bainbridge School building, which was being taken down this week.
Restrooms could be added to the house, serving those who visit the site, as well as the sports fields.
The gazebo could be used for band concerts, other gatherings and shelter, Mr. Ciciretto said.
The plan calls for eliminating the driveway behind the school building, so there will no longer be traffic through that area, allowing people to walk between the gazebo and ball fields.
The veterans memorial would include brick walkways, landscaping, military flags and benches. A granite slab would be etched with names of the military branches, Mr. Ciciretto said.
"It's a relatively simple monument, but it pays homage to the veterans who have served us over the years," he said.
The relocated Bissell-Tucek house would be updated with a modern kitchen. The original part of the house was built in the 1830s and the addition was added in 1870.
Mr. Ciciretto said he sees it as a multifunctional building with a portion of the house being used by the Bainbridge Historical Society.
Costs for interior and exterior renovations to the house would be about $87,000. Costs to move it and construct a basement would be included in the $200,000 figure.
The gazebo, with a bell-shaped roof, would be 18 feet wide and 28 feet long, parallel to Chillicothe Road (Route 306), Mr. Ciciretto said. The estimated cost of the gazebo is $75,000.
Trustee Linda White said she would like to use some of the large stones from the house's basement for steps.
She talked to Peter Rogers, of Russell, who moved a century house in that township. He used the old foundation stones for two tiers in the basement of the house he moved, she said. It is more acceptable to the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ms. White said. She also suggested the large trees in front of the Bissell-Tucek house could be used for lumber.
Resident Ted Seliga questioned if they were taking into consideration the possible widening of Chillicothe Road in the future.
Mr. Lynch said Ohio Department of Transportation representatives have said there is no plan to widen the highway.
He said he liked the plan, and with the elimination of the driveway behind the old school, it will allow a free flow of people between the ball fields and the museum and gazebo.
The plan is "relatively inexpensive to construct and to maintain," Mr. Lynch said. "It will offer the community a wonderful place for interaction and fun."
Ms. White said maintaining the park will be a lot less than keeping up the old school, which she estimated at $40,000 to $50,000 annually.
Mr. Markley, who had supported keeping the old school for community use, said the memorial park plan had not received much public discussion or input and is being rushed through, "most notably during my planned absences."
As a design professional and resident, he said it is "obvious that the process of planning and public input for a Bainbridge town center is being circumvented to quickly establish some sort of band-aid after the ELC is torn down," he said.
The rush to build a gazebo does not consider the current and future needs and desires of the community, Mr. Markley said.
He said the public should have an opportunity to review the plan in a public workshop where they are permitted to comment.
"It will be unfortunate if this board chooses to move forward with construction drawings before the public can weigh in on moving the Tucek house, expanding the fire station and expending hundreds of thousands of dollars on this park," Mr. Markley said.
Mr. Lynch said they will address concerns of Fiscal Officer Cheri Measures concerning funding the project. He said they will call in their investment adviser to talk of what investment funds will be available this year. He is confident the funds will be there, he said.
Ms. White said estate taxes this year are of $161,000.
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