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Published: Thursday, 1/6/2005

Monclova Township: Repairs being made, more on schedule

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Monclova Historical Foundation president Bill Strayer discusses the improvements that need to be made to the roof seen through the window. It is leaking, and repairs could be pricey. Monclova Historical Foundation president Bill Strayer discusses the improvements that need to be made to the roof seen through the window. It is leaking, and repairs could be pricey.
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The Monclova Historical Foundation reached several of its goals last year, including completion of some repairs at the Monclova Community Center and taking down the old post office building, and the group is planning more activities this year.

"We have a lot of ambitious goals," said Bill Strayer, president of the foundation.

The historical foundation oversees operation of the Monclova Community Center, 8115 Monclova Rd., Monclova Township, owns the community center building and pays for its utility costs, but the foundation provides for other operating expenses and building repairs.

The community center has an annual operating budget of about $100,000, Mr. Strayer said. Most of these costs are supported by membership fees and rental charges for several rooms at the center.

"The community center is trying to be self-sufficient," Mr. Strayer said.

The center is in a former elementary school built in 1912. Historical foundation volunteers have done many repairs at the center over the past few years. Last year, repairs included redoing the building's front steps, painting parts of the building, and installing new cabinets and carpet in some rooms, including a room that will become a computer center in the early spring.

In 2005, the foundation plans to paint several upstairs rooms, put rubber treads on an indoor stairway, and reseal the community center's parking lot.

"The facility is really getting nicer and nicer," said Brian Craig, a township trustee and member of the historical society.

The foundation's largest goals for the center this year are adding more parking and replacing a section of the building's roof. The group has held several fund-raisers and collected $86,000 so far. The township has agreed to match any funds the group raises by June 1 up to $100,000.

Mr. Strayer said the foundation has not yet gotten good estimates on costs for the roof and parking lot work, but the roof alone will likely cost more than $100,000.

"The roof is in bad shape," he said. "We've got leaks and it needs to be fixed badly."

In addition to fixing the community center building, the historical foundation has been working on increasing use of the facility. Rentals were up in 2004 compared to prior years, Mr. Strayer said.

"People are learning that we have this facility and they are coming in more to use it," said Mary Kay, director of the community center.

The historical foundation also has been working on restoring another old building. The former post office, a small cement block building that was located across from the community center, is scheduled to be reconstructed later this year.

In the fall, historical foundation volunteers and students from the masonry class at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg Township took the building apart. It will be rebuilt next to the community center.



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