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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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City to demolish school to create green space

Another vacant grass lot will be added in the city, but with intentions of turning it into a park.

The city will tear down Ridge School, located on Ridge Street. It will be a block away from the University’s green space, located on the corner of Ridge and North Enterprise streets, which used to be the Heinz warehouse.

The city bought the school for $22,500 from the Bowling Green Board of Education and plans to demolish it this winter, said John Fawcett, city municipal administrator.

“With the school closing, citizens were not sure what would happen with the property,” said Daniel Gordon, First Ward council member. “Efforts like [creating a park] can improve the quality of life.”

A park in the area could increase property values, which have gone down in recent years, Gordon said.

The only problem is that the city has no money set aside in the budget to create another park, Fawcett said.

“The action we’re taking is to restore it to a green space,” he said.

When the area becomes a green space, it will be the second one in the city next to the University’s.

The University initially intended to later add walkways and benches to the green space, according to a Nov. 27, 2012 article in The BG News.

The area still remains vacant and there are no plans currently to add anything, said Steve Krakoff, vice president for Capital Planning.

“We’ve been focused on all on-campus development to transform the campus so the area hasn’t received attention yet,” Krakoff said. “At some point we’ll want to make aesthetic improvements … but there is no specific time frame.”

Fawcett said because the city’s green space is surrounded by residents, it will be used regardless of what it becomes.

However, to avoid the same fate as the University’s green space, Gordon said the city is teaming up with the community to push the project forward.

“The citizens are interested in raising funds as a community to put facilities in the [park],” Gordon said. “I’ve heard overwhelming feedback; the residents want this.”

Gordon sees the possibility of a park being installed by fall 2014 with the help of community groups and citizens.

He intends to keep the lot from staying vacant for long.

“I’m here to stop us from doing that,” he said. “To me, it’s a top priority and we’ll work with citizens to design the park and make it sustainable. We’re not just going to let it sit there.”

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