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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2008

Planning for bathroom facility at Sylvania's Fossil Park takes another step


Members of the Olander Park System board have approved going ahead with architectural drawings for a rest room facility at Fossil Park on Centennial Road.

The drawings, which will be done by Rossi & Associates, may be expanded to include energy-saving features depending on potential grants to the system.

Gary Madrzykowski, director of the system, told trustees that he has requested a grant of up to $100,000 from the Ohio Department of Development and that he intends to submit applications for grants from three other entities.

Those grants will be based in large part on the proposed "green" aspects of the new building.

The current price for the basic building is almost $230,000, with an additional cost of $85,000 for extending utilities to the building and other site work.

For a building with solar panels, an energy collection unit, and other similar components, the cost of the building is about $320,000 with roughly the same additional cost of $85,000 for utilities and site work.

In 2005, the system's board of trustees had an estimate of $126,360 for a building with an additional $76,000 for utilities and site work.

Although the price has risen, Mr. Madrzykowski in the meantime has secured a contribution of $100,000 from the city of Sylvania and a grant from the state's NatureWorks program for an additional $21,500.

The initial estimate would have been paid entirely by the park system, but the basic structure because of the grants now will cost the system about $193,000.

If the state grant of $100,000 is awarded, the total cost for a largely solar-powered building will cost the system about $186,000, with the additional $85,000 for utilities and site work.

It the state grant is less, the difference could be made up if some of the other grants are awarded.

Board members agreed to begin with the basic design and will determine how many energy-efficient factors to add based on grants.

Fossil Park opened in 2001 and has been visited by an average of between 15,000 and 20,000 people annually.

In part because there are no facilities at the site, it has only been open on weekends during warm months.

The system intends to extend its hours after a rest room is added to the attraction.

Visitors search for fossils on the site from piles of shale which are regularly supplied by Hanson Aggregates Midwest.

The shale comes from active quarrying by the company. Although the shale is rich in fossils, it has little value to Hanson.

The building under consideration also will allow for storage of needed supplies for operating Fossil Park, with a small area set aside for office work, Mr. Madryzkowski said.

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