September 18, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
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Medina visitor’s center with public restrooms in the works

Medina officials are moving quickly to turn the empty Key Bank building on Public Square into a visitor’s center featuring public restrooms.

City Council’s Finance Committee on Monday approved a contract with South Euclid architect Kevin C. Robinette to draft renovation plans.

“The driving factor is the public restrooms,” city Engineer Patrick Patton said. “That’s why the city purchased the property.”

Medina plans to renovate the former Key Bank building at 119 Public Square into a visitor’s center with public restrooms. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Medina plans to renovate the former Key Bank building at 119 Public Square into a visitor’s center with public restrooms. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Patton said the building will eliminate the need for portable toilets on Public Square during the many special events held there.

“That’s not the most appealing look,” he said.

The project will cost an estimated $180,000, he said.

Council approved paying $320,000 for the building last summer.

Patton said the city expects to begin advertising for construction bids in May and begin work in June. He said the project is expected to take about two months.

Patton said the building at the corner of East Liberty and North Court streets will receive renovations inside and out, and installing new electric and plumbing lines.

The restrooms would be on the east side of the building, where the drive-through area is now. That area would be enclosed.

Patton said ideas for the rest of the building are not clear, though it would include displays of brochures and other city-focused promotional materials.

Others involved with city improvement plans say the parking lot area at that corner would be an ideal spot for a proposed fountain.

Parks Director Jansen Wehrley said the Uptown Park Advisory Committee — a group that makes recommendations for the square and Uptown Park — discussed putting the fountain on the square two years ago but the motion was tabled.

It was revived when the city bought the Key Bank building.

“There has been a lot of discussion about what to do with the south side of that property, and the committee is still interested in providing a fountain for the area,” he said.

The “Tall Crane”-style fountain would stand about 12 feet, with three bowls of decreasing size rising out of a base pool.

Patton said any improvements to the parking lot would be above and beyond the price tag for the building improvements.

But Wehrly said the fountain would be donated by an anonymous local family.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.