BAINBRIDGE — Another former camp building is slated to come down in Centerville Mills Park. A structure near the park dining hall off Crackel Road has been leased for several years by the Aurora Cooperative Preschool, which will move out on June 30.
Township Trustees said they are in general agreement to take down the building once the preschool moves at the end of the lease.
In the past, before the township purchased the Centerville Mills Park property, it was used by the YMCA of Greater Cleveland for summer camp programs. Bainbridge bought the 160 acres in 2003.
Trustee Lorrie Benza said discussions have been held in the past, and it was agreed that once the preschool moved out, the building would come down. “We don’t have the money or interest in renovating the building and we are looking at demolishing it,” she said. There has not been much interest by other groups in using it.
A number of buildings at the former YMCA of Greater Cleveland camp have already been taken down as part of the 2014 step-down plan for the park, Mrs. Benza said.
The preschool’s rental payment of $1,585 monthly has been covering the cost of real estate taxes. The Geauga County Auditor had required the township pay real estate taxes because the building was being leased to a private entity.
So far, the former camp pavilion, a dispensary, swimming pool, a workshop, nature center, cabins and an overnight lodge have been removed as part of the plans for the park. The White House, a century house on the south side of Crackel Road which had been rented to a family, burned down a few years ago.
Still in place at the park are the building next to Lake Paterak, a chapel that has been used for weddings, the dining hall and a barn used for storage. Last year, a dog park was built and is being prepared for re-opening.
The former camp’s original office building is also standing at the park’s main entrance, but is not being used. A decision on that building’s future must be made as well, trustees said.
Playground equipment at the building being used by the preschool will be removed.
“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” Mrs. Benza said of Centerville Mills Park, and is well used by the public.
Trustee Kristina O’Brien said the preschool building “had its use in its time and now it’s time to go.”
Bainbridge Service Director Jim Stanek said the building’s foundation can be taken out and rock installed for a parking area. The playground can’t be moved because it would destroy it. The components can be removed and sold, he noted, on the website Gov Deal. “It’s old but functional and safe,” he said of the equipment.
Township Trustee Jeff Markley said the 1,500 square foot preschool building ranked low on the list of structures to keep largely because of the maintenance it would require. “It was part of the plan to come down in the park, to cut expenses,” Mr. Markley said.
Mr. Stanek said the preschool has been moving from the building so it will probably come down in early July with the township service department doing the demolition.