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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Springfield Township mulls updated replacement for Strawberry House

Springfield Township's Strawberry House, where thousands of people have purchased fresh-from-the-field seasonal treats, might be replaced with a new community center.

Bob Anderson, township administrator, said that township trustees have given him the go-ahead to look into the possibility of a community center similar to the Nederhouser Community Hall at Sylvania's Olander Park. Township officials toured that facility last week .

Sylvania's community hall, named for the park system's first director, Orval "Red" Nederhouser, is a 160-seat rustic lodge on Lake Olander where weddings, corporate picnics, graduation parties, family reunions, and other functions are held.

The Strawberry House, a shelterhouse/picnic area located in Community Homecoming Park, continues to serve as a good place to hold family reunions, picnics, or graduation parties, but it's starting to show its age.

"We're looking into creating a nicer looking building that we could rent out for weddings and other events," said Andrew Hohlbein, lead man for Springfield Township's road department, who is involved in the planning process for a new facility. A community center that could accommodate 150 to 200 people is being considered, he said.

Mr. Anderson said the township is interested in a building that could be used year-round.

When the annual strawberry festival is held, the Strawberry House serves as a delicious focal point. "That's where the berries are cleaned, and they sell them out of there," Mr. Hohlbein said.

The festival this year is set for June 14-18 at Community Homecoming Park, 7807 Angola Rd., Holland.

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