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Goodwill expansion aims at offering more space and services

Goodwill customers and supporters will soon be able to celebrate a brand new addition to the Bowling Green retail location.

The new addition is expected to add nearly 10,000 square feet of space to the existing Goodwill store at 1058 N. Main St. And while much of this space will be used to expand the sales floor, the bigger change will be the addition of a complete donation center and training office.

According to Mark Harris, the marketing director for Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio, with the new donation center people will be able to bring donations right into the center where they can be sorted and prepared for sale in Bowling Green or transported to other Goodwill stores.

The training center, however, will more directly help some of the citizens of Bowling Green.

“It will provide training and vocational rehabilitation for those who have barriers for employment,” Harris said.

This training is one of the main functions of Goodwill stores, as stated in their mission statement: “[Goodwill of Northwest Ohio] provide[s] assessment, job training and placement that assists people with disabilities and other work-related disadvantages to become independent.”

“I think it’s great for BG,” said Liz Hamernick a Perrysburg resident who says she’s been shopping at the Goodwill for at least 10 years with her father, Norbert Hamernick.

While Liz Hamernick finds the 75 cent T-shirts to be the most appealing part of the Goodwill, Norbert says he’s hoping the addition will bring more furniture.

“Some of the old appliances you can’t get in the store anymore, you can buy them here and use them for parts,” Norbert Hamernick said.

Other shoppers, like Ken Gutbrod, a Bowling Green resident, recognize the importance of the renovations to the Goodwill store.

“I’m delighted,” Gutbrod said.

“The Salvation Army, which I used to use, closed down because they weren’t economically profitable because it was a small store,” he said. A Goodwill customer for the past three years, Gutbrod said it’s the prices he finds most appealing about the store.

Though the huge addition jutting out from behind the current Goodwill store is what attracts the most attention, a small chunk of the space being added will be on the north side of the building.

The current plan is to knock out the wall separating Goodwill and King Buffet restaurant and expand the Goodwill into the restaurant’s space as well. The King Buffet will be moving just a few doors down in the same complex.

However, Harris is hoping for the construction of the larger addition to be completed within the next few months, which means as soon as construction is finished, it may just begin again as the King Buffet plans on moving out of its current space within the next three months.

According to Jou Pet, the King Buffet’s new owner, they are remodeling the space at 1074 N. Main St. and will be out of their current space at 1060 N. Main St. as soon as their new one is finished.

But just hoping won’t get the construction finished, as progress plods along.

“We’re excited about it.” Harris said, but added: “It’s not moving as fast as we would like it to.”

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