Findlay is set to build the township's largest rental pavilion and its first with a full-service kitchen.
Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony July 3 at the Recreation and Sports Complex, along Route 30 between the Clinton and Imperial neighborhoods. Opening is set for spring 2014.
Township manager Gary Klingman said the facility will allow for events such as family reunions, graduation parties, community group cookouts, church festivities and fundraisers.
"There's a lot of groups that are holding large-scale events, but we can't accommodate them because our facilities aren't large enough," Mr. Klingman said. "We want to try to fill that void."
The 30-foot-by-84-foot pavilion will seat 150 to 165 people -- double what the township can accommodate in any existing pavilion. A fully equipped kitchen will be attached for catering and food preparation.
Total cost for the pavilion and kitchen is estimated around $220,000.
Recreation coordinator Darlene Howell said the new facility will help meet "off-the-charts" demand for pavilions and other rental space.
The Findlay Township Activity Center -- a two-floor indoor facility with a kitchen at 310 Main St., Imperial -- is so heavily booked that Ms. Howell turns down about 10 to 20 requests a week to rent space there.
"This pavilion is going to be able to handle almost as many people as the Activity Center, yet give people that picnic feeling, that outside feeling," she said. "It's going to be a nice choice."
Construction is planned for this fall.
The township likely will begin accepting residents' reservations in February. The pavilion and kitchen will be available together or separately for day and evening use. (The park closes at 11 p.m.) Rental fees have not yet been established.
The kitchen will include amenities such as refrigeration, fryers, a stove and a microwave, and the pavilion will offer picnic tables and grills.
The pavilion is planned for the middle tier of the three-level park, on the Leopold Lake side of the soccer field.
Depending on finances and the results of bidding, the township also could expand parking and build restrooms near the pavilion next year, Mr. Klingman said.
Eventually, the township hopes to add a playground, bocce courts and horseshoes nearby, he said.
The township will seek bids for some work, such as preparing the pavilion foundation, but will do most construction in-house to save money.
Findlay's public works crew will build the steel-structure pavilion using a materials package bought through COSTARS, the state's cooperative purchasing program. Features will include stonework, artificial lighting and a split roof with Plexiglas windows to let in natural light.
"It's much more elaborate than what [pavilions] we have today," Mr. Klingman said.neigh_west
Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: email@example.com.