PERRYSBURG — Despite an autumn ribbon cutting, the Perrysburg Senior Center addition still awaits an occupancy permit.
“It’s a frustrating situation. It rankles me, as I’m sure it does the folks who want to use it. It’s a shame it hasn’t been able to be used.” Tim McCarthy, Perrysburg councilman, said.
McCarthy, who is also on the board of the Wood County Committee on Aging, said the addition does not have an occupancy permit because additional fire alarms are needed, beyond what was called for in the original plans.
He had a post-council meeting discussion with Bridgette Kabat, city administrator, on Tuesday.
Kabat said that the city is pursuing a two-pronged approach to opening up the multi-purpose room.
Updated plans with two additional alarms are to be submitted by the contractor early next week. Then the county inspector will decide if the plans provide the necessary security, and an occupancy plan should be issued.
“APC, who is the original fire alarm firm, is finalizing the extension of that system into that room,” Kabat said.
A temporary use permit is also being requested, which would allow limited use, with additional supervision, potentially on a faster timetable.
“We are waiting on the Wood County building regulations department to give us temporary occupancy. It’s been a while since the request has been made,” Kabat said. “They can still give us temporary occupancy, under certain conditions that the fire chief blessed. In the meantime, we have to extend the fire alarm system.”
Kabat said that the contracted engineering firm, Kleinfelder Inc., is currently working on pricing for the modifications.
“The installation should not be that invasive. It’s probably a day’s worth of work. There’s probably one in the doorway on the inside and then there’s an egress doorway as well. Then there’s signage. It’s probably more complicated tying it into the existing system than anything,” Kabat said.
She said that the project was part of the 2020 budget and construction started in 2020. There have also been several delays related to the pandemic.
The addition was described as a large multi-purpose room that with an addition that has a separate door, making it contiguous, but not served by the same fire alarm system. It will be used for a variety of activities, such as card games, yoga, interactive Nintendo Wii games and dance classes.
McCarthy said that it looks like a big sun porch, but it is fully heated, with air conditioning.
Kabat said that the design of the addition will allow for multiple classes to take place at the same time.
“The original use designation that was given to Wood County, somehow it was designated as an office, which has different requirements from an assembly building. That was obviously way before my time, because that building has been around a long time,” Kabat said. “Use has changed over time, but nobody has gone over to the building regulation department to request a new use, which means they come out and re-evaluate it and tell you whatever upgrades you have to have to security systems and safety systems.”
Councilman Mark Weber, who was on the historical commission, said the fire station, with which senior center shares a wall, was built in 1957. The senior center was added onto the east side of the fire station in 1965, after the old “Bee Hive,” was destroyed in a fire.
“I used to go dancing there, now I go and eat lunch,” Weber said.