In an effort to expand Bicentennial Park on Bainbridge Road and its use, Solon city officials are purchasing a nearby house.

During a special meeting last week, City Council moved forward with the purchase of the house at 34215 Bainbridge Road at a cost of $235,000 from homeowner Bill Weigle, who currently occupies the structure.

The agreement for the purchase will be finalized later this month. The purchase price was based on an appraisal of the property, Mayor Edward H. Kraus said.

“It’s all but done,” Mayor Kraus said of the purchase. “There is obviously various legal issues that have to go on.”

Mayor Kraus said the purchase allows the city to expand the area.

Bicentennial Park, located next to the Solon Historical Society, has been home to farmer’s markets in the past several weeks and will be the future home to a variety of Solon Center for the Arts’ events.

The approximate 1,600-foot home sits on a 0.33 acre lot. This will add to the current 2.75 acres of the park. The next house to the east is another 0.5 acre and under negotiations to be purchased, but Mayor Kraus said he could not elaborate.

The Weigle’s home will be razed and that is expected to occur sometime this year, the mayor said.

“There are so many different activities planned for the park and not enough room there,” Mayor Kraus continued. “Instead of doing activities in the parking lot, I would rather do them in the park on grass.”

He said the park will be home to future concerts, SCA camp performances and other activities.

“It’s been a goal of ours for a while to have this park,” Mayor Kraus said, “especially now that everyone has seen farmers markets and opportunities for that area.

“We just need more space, more room for concerts and plays,” he said. “Right now, it’s too tight as far as land.”

Mayor Kraus said that the park is a “work in progress.

“We will use it really in conjunction with the art center,” he said. “That is its greatest value.”

Public Works Commissioner Bill Drsek said this purchase not only adds to the park but also helps with the goal of realigning Bainbridge and SOM Center roads in the future.

The little strip of Bainbridge Road from the entrance to City Hall to SOM Center Road will become green space and make it safer for those at the art center to access the park, Mr. Drsek added.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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