ARTIST’S SKETCH SHOWS the enlarged 50 North building, which will double its space at Melrose Avenue and Blanchard Street to 46,000 square feet. (Sketch provided)

By LOU WILIN
STAFF WRITER

Findlay City Planning Commission on Thursday approved plans for a $6 million expansion of 50 North, which will double its space at Melrose Avenue and Blanchard Street to 46,000 square feet.

Construction of the improvements, largely targeting fitness and wellness, will start in early 2020.

50 North serves those 50 years and older. The renovation and expansion, on both the east and west sides of the building, is expected to be completed by July 2021. Parking would be expanded to the east and west.

The building will be expanded on the east side for a fitness and wellness studio and an equipment area, locker rooms, indoor track and multipurpose space, personal training and exercise rooms.

On the west side, the expansion will include an art and activity room, expanded cafe and stage area, and offices.

50 North is out of room for growth in programs, services and storage in its existing space. It has waiting lists for programs and services. Without an expansion, things will get worse, officials said.

Hancock County’s 50-and-over population is projected to grow from about 36 percent, or 27,271 currently, to about 44 percent, or 35,000 or more by 2035, Carolyn Copus, executive director of 50 North, has said.

Renovations in the existing building will be made to the lobby, east side socialization area, coffee bar, library, meeting/game rooms and billiards room, west side meeting rooms, roof, ceiling, flooring, walls, electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation.

50 North has committed $2 million of its tax revenue over four years for the renovations.

Lead donors have already committed $1.5 million toward the $6 million expansion. 50 North is now moving into a public phase of its campaign to raise the other $2.5 million needed for the expansion.

The lead donors are Jane and Gary Heminger, chairman and chief executive officer of Marathon Petroleum Corp.; Marathon Petroleum Corp.; Kathy and Garry Peiffer, retired president of MPLX; and Bev Yammine.

Wilin: 419-427-8413
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