Plans for Main Street Heritage Sylvania unveiled

Preliminary plans of the proposed vision are unveiled for City Council.

Heritage Sylvania Executive Director Andi Erbskorn shared the proposed vision for Heritage Sylvania to Mayor Craig Stough and members of Sylvania City Council at the May 2 meeting after presenting an update on repairs made to the Lathrop House. She also mentioned that school visits are on the increase and Heritage Sylvania is booked to capacity. She estimates that nearly 2000 second and fourth grade students from Sylvania along with Perrysburg and Wauseon have visited the village and the Lathrop House so far this year. She said the next school year will be even busier as she anticipates entering into a partnership with Washington Local Schools to bring all their second graders.

According to Erbskorn, last fall the Heritage Sylvania Board of Trustees engaged the EDGE Landscape Architectural firm to develop a vision for the Main Street Heritage Sylvania campus incorporating several key issues. “We wanted to improve our presence on Main Street; find a way to better connect the Heritage Museum, the Sister Cities Garden, and the Historic Village; and to create green spaces, which are also unique to Heritage Sylvania,” she explained.

Those three issues were addressed by Tim Bockbrader of EDGE who recently presented a plan. Phase One includes creating a new entry pathway between the museum and the retail building complete with an arbor leading to the relocated Sister Cities Garden, which can be viewed from Main Street. The garden then opens to an event lawn backed by a stage complete with a pergola matching the arbor. This space is between the Carriage House and the Village Candy Shoppe and can be used for concerts, weddings, and more. A hard surface will be on both sides of this event lawn; the one adjacent to the Carriage House could be used as a staging area or for crowd overflow. The hard surface on the north side serves as the connector leading to the Historic Village. That will also include a trellis, which mimics the arbor and the pergola.

“The improvements suggested for the village include adding a stage to the front of the train barn and planting of several trees throughout the village. Improved lighting is included in the plan as are picnic tables and seating options,” Erbskorn stated. “This vision has been created in different phases with mini-steps. We are planning a  campaign with the help of professionals from Thread Marketing to raise the nearly $500,000 needed for this plan.”

She added, “We are also exploring all grant options.”

EDGE, with offices in Toledo, Columbus, Nashville, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala., is an integrated team of landscape architects, planners, and development consultants who balance creativity and functionality to create dynamic, interactive places.

Councilman Patrick Richardson offered a report from the April 28 Streets Committee meeting recommending the hiring of DGL Consulting Engineers to provide preliminary engineering services for the Downtown Streetscape project. Councilman Doug Haynam suggested that a visioning element be included in the planning as well. Council approved the proposal for the work.

In other business, council also approved entering into an agreement to hire one head teacher along with four teachers from Sylvania Schools, three teachers’ aides, and one police aide for Safety City. This program is for children entering kindergarten in the fall and will be held June 6 through June 10 at Maplewood School with sessions in the morning and afternoon. According to Sylvania Police Chief Rick Schnoor, the police aide, Madison Barnes, a Northview student, is a member of the Public Safety Cadets.

City of Sylvania’s Department of Public Safety  Service Director Kevin Aller reported on the 2024 reconstruction of South Main Street between Ten Mile Creek and Convent Boulevard project asking council for approval of the Mannik Smith Group’s engineering services $107,652 contract. According to Aller, this ODOT project is part of the 2022 capital improvement budget.

In addition, Aller requested that City Council approve a $7,800 proposal from DGL Consulting Engineers to provide engineering services for the Sylvania River Trail Phase Two elevated walkway repair project. He also asked to make an amendment for an additional $8,000 for the preliminary engineering work on the Monroe Street rail crossing with Norfolk Southern Railway Company bringing that project’s total to $46,162. Council voted to approve both proposals.

Councilwoman Mary Westphal, the city’s representative to the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District board, added a report from the organization. She presented council with the upcoming Centennial Terrace events schedule and said that Burnham Park improvements will begin in the near future.

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