BG citizens push to save downtown green space PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 09:46
Citizens urged city council to preserve this open space on the grounds of the former Bowling Green Junior High school. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Citizen requests to retain the former Bowling Green High School/Junior High School site as green space will receive consideration after Bowling Green City Council receives background material for its review.
Sunset Drive resident Wally Pretzer and West Wooster Street resident Gail Nader told council the green space created by the demolition is an asset and suggested the city not follow through with long-range plans to build a new city building on the site.
Pretzer said the open space shows off some of the historic homes on West Wooster Street and gives the city a square, found in Ohio communities such as Medina, Bryan and Hudson.
"Bowling Green needs a city square for things like a band stand, a gazebo, maybe a mural on the side of the First Presbyterian Church. Some sidewalks and benches would be nice, it could be used for space for art displays and maybe by the Black Swamp Arts Festival," Pretzer said.
"I second the remarks that the area needs to remain green space," Nader said. "I think we need to examine this very closely. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she said.
Nader also took the opportunity to suggest a change to the no parking zone on South Grove Street near the Wooster intersection. She said there is a safety issue with vehicles getting around parked cars so close to the stop sign.
"There are also some disgusting houses on the north side of West Wooster that need to be cleaned up. The backyards have been a problem since at least 1998. They need to get on the list for some attention," Nader said.
At-Large Council Member Sandy Rowland suggested a council committee to study the issue but after brief discussion Fourth Ward rep Greg Robinette said the present council needs to do some homework on why the site was chosen for a city building.
"People spent a tremendous amount of time, that's the foundation. It does not mean that is where we will head, but we all need to understand the history before we continue the discussion," Robinette said.
Municipal Administrator John Fawcett told council there is "a considerable amount of information" officials can share with council. The first discussions date to 2005 and most council members were not in office. "After you have had a chance to review this material, then schedule a meeting," Fawcett said.
In addition to more than a dozen trees planted on the site last fall, Fawcett said plans call for installation of some benches and a rock with a plaque commemorating the site as a former school building.
Mayor Richard Edwards said details are being worked out to have a representative from the Ohio Historical Society in Bowling Green in early April to discuss details for historic preservation efforts. Edwards has several times promoted the idea of a historic district around the Wood County Courthouse.

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