Centennial Park in Findlay will have new exercise equipment installed this year, replacing equipment installed 29 years ago. The Hancock Park District board on Tuesday approved the estimated $48,500 expenditure.

The park, off Cross Avenue and east of Blanchard Street, is owned by the city of Findlay and managed by the park district. The half-acre park has an outdoor fitness center and is adjacent to the paved, multi-use Blanchard River Greenway Trail.

A new FitCore area will meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The existing equipment is not ADA accessible, according to a report from Gary Pruitt, park district director.

The improvement is part of the park district’s strategic plan.

The project will include removal of existing equipment, the wood mulch surface, plastic borders and asphalt walk.

Construction will include a 6-foot by 11-foot concrete walk, and a 40-foot by 60-foot concrete pad for the new equipment. The concrete pad will be larger than the existing area. There will be four “bump-outs” for four 6-foot benches.

Concrete installation is expected in April. The equipment will be purchased and installed, followed by site amenities such as the benches.

There will be no climbing equipment included with the upgrade, Pruitt said. The exercise equipment will allow individuals to exercise using their body weight. There will be no moving parts.

There will be eight equipment stations, where 13 individuals can work out simultaneously. A group exercise class and an instructional course are being considered for the updated area.

The new equipment is designed for use by individuals 14 years and older. Parking is available at the site.

The estimated cost breakdown includes: $17,250 for fitness equipment; $23,150 for concrete installation, demolition and removal of existing equipment; $3,500 for benches; and $4,500 in contingency funds.

Park district employees and volunteers will install the equipment. The work will be funded with general fund money, but the park board requested that financial support be sought from the public.

Separately, Pruitt updated the board on various projects which will move ahead this year.
Shelter 2 at Riverbend Recreation Area will be replaced through a donation from the Mariann Dana Younger Donor Advised Fund, managed by the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. A cost estimate has not been released. Building design is underway.

Bids will be sought in March and construction will begin in May.

Also, a gazebo will be constructed at Riverbend, funded by the Younger family.

There will be parking lot paving at various locations. New trail signs, with wording instead of just symbols, will be installed in some parks, and printed trail maps will be available.

Bill Patch, park district operations manager, said the railing along the boardwalk at Oakwoods Nature Preserve has been removed and will be replaced.

Anne Coburn-Griffis, marketing manager, said the spring activity guide should be available soon at various locations.

During the meeting, Erin Tannehill received the 2017 Charlie Meadows Award. The award is presented annually to a volunteer who “most exhibits characteristics of leadership, enthusiasm for the projects and services he or she performs, and for their willingness to promote volunteerism with others.”

Tannehill has participated in park district programs and events since she was a child. Now a high school senior, she has volunteered four years with the park district. She combines her experiences as a program participant and homeschooled student by volunteering during the “Homeschoolers in the Park” program and other events, including the American Girl Tea.

Tannehill’s name has been engraved on a gold plate and will be mounted on a plaque displayed at the park district administrative office on East Main Cross Street.

The volunteer program provides opportunities for area residents to supplement the park district staff to provide programs and maintain the parks.

The Charlie Meadows Award is named for the park district’s first volunteer coordinator. In 1982, Meadows was instrumental in launching the Helping Hands program to get people involved in the parks.

The board also held an executive session to discuss the purchase of property. No action was taken after the session.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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