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Sylvania area recreation facilities to get $9M makeover

The Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District has sold bonds valued at almost $9 million and is moving forward with proposed improvement projects.

The financing - approved by voters with a recreation levy in March - will fund renovation work at Pacesetter Park, Centennial Terrace & Quarry, The Sylvania Sports & Exhibition Center at Tam-O-Shanter, and 17 baseball fields within the Sylvania Schools' district. The recreation district also is planning to construct a skate park.

Construction is expected to start this summer on many of the projects, said Ken Katafias, recreation district general manager.

Last week, the recreation district purchased the Sports & Exhibition Center at Tam-O-Shanter for $3.7 million.

The recreation district had been leasing the site from the city of Sylvania at a cost of about $18,500 per month, said Tom Cline, general manager of Tam-O-Shanter.

The selling price was equal to the city's remaining balance on the facility.

Recreation district officials are planning to expand the parking lot, adding 250 spots at a cost of $670,736. The center includes two ice rinks, a pro shop, a restaurant, and indoor soccer and lacrosse fields.

No other immediate changes are planned for the facility, but the district is exploring the notion of increased discounts for school district residents, Mr. Cline said.

The recreation district is accepting bids on irrigation improvements and concession and restroom upgrades at Pacesetter Park, Mr. Katafias said.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and continue through the 2009 season. Portions of the park will be closed during the project. Improvements are projected to cost about $1.9 million.

Meanwhile, improvement plans at Centennial Terrace & Quarry are in the design stage, Mr. Katafias said. The district is planning a $2.2-million overhaul of the almost 70-year-old facility, with a new bandstand stage and dance floor and updated rest rooms and concession stands, he said.

Construction is expected to begin in September. At that time, the facility will close for the season, Mr. Katafias said.

The district also is planning to make fencing improvements and replace gravel infields with clay infield material on 17 baseball fields, Mr. Katafias said.

He said the project is expected to cost $102,960 and will begin at the end of youth softball season in late July and should finish by the start of school in the fall.

Plans for a skate park remain under discussion in public hearings. A site for the park and equipment specifications have yet to be determined, Mr. Katafias said. Construction at the skate park is expected to take place in 2009.

Recreation officials have not determined how much money will be devoted to the project.

Contact Angie Schmitt at:

aschmitt@theblade.com

or 419-724-6104.

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