By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Beloved though they may be, two old buildings in City Park are near the end of their long lives. But Bowling Green Park and Recreation officials are hopeful that their replacement will stir the same affections from city residents.
Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley knows it will be tough for some local residents to say goodbye the Veterans Building and the Girl Scout Building.
However, she is hoping once residents see plans for the new building, they will be sold. The plans call for one building to take the place and serve the purposes of the two other buildings.
The architects are working on a concept plan to show the public on Aug. 22, in the larger meeting room at the Veterans Building. An open house meeting with the plans will be held from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by a more formal presentation of the plans at 6 p.m. The parks and recreation board will then hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Building.
The drawings will likely be on display in the community center for a period after Aug. 22 to give more people a chance to view them.
“We’re really, really excited. It’s coming along well,” Otley said Tuesday evening, during the park and recreation board’s meeting.
In addition to getting a peek at the building plans, the architects should have some cost estimates available.
The earliest the construction can start is mid-August of 2018. The existing buildings are needed for summer programming in City Park, so they can’t be demolished until the end of summer, Otley said.
The aging buildings are not worth sinking renovation dollars into, Otley said. So Schorr Architects, of the Columbus area, is designing one larger building with adequate space for programming, storage, ADA accessibility, air conditioning, and an attractive design that reflects the historic nature of the park.
The architects have taken note of the historic Needle Hall and stone wall in the park, Otley said.
“They were immediately looking at Needle Hall and talking about tying in the look,” she said. “It will bring the park together.”
Without revealing many details about the new building, Otley said it will have a better flow and improved parking.
“It’s really an amazing opportunity” to get a building that is efficient and aesthetically pleasing, she said.
The new building will be used for programming, and as a rental facility for a reasonable price, Otley said.