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Medina renovates room with a view

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    City officials and residents who had been involved in fixing up the second floor of the old firehouse gather in the common room for refreshments and to see the work that had been done.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — The historic, bright red Medina Fire House and town hall on the square has finally been fixed up and is ready for use after years of discussions and construction.

The first floor has been used as a museum by the Medina Archive Commission for several years now, but the second floor of the building has gone unused and had fallen into disrepair. But now, the Medina Town Hall and Engine House Museum, at 50 Public Square, has a new look.

“This has been quite a project,” said Mayor Dennis Hanwell. “It troubled me as the mayor to have a space like this with such a beautiful view of the square and not be using it.”

Councilman Bill Lamb said that anyone who had been on the second floor of the building went straight to those windows and commented on how great the view was.

The second floor has a large open room with big windows on the wall facing the square. The floors and walls have been replaced and repaired by students at the career center and they even put in new duct work.

The whole second floor was repainted and an office was put in for members of the Medina Community Design Committee who had sold the home they were using as their headquarters and were looking for a new place.

“We were homeless for a bit,” said Michele Nichols, chairwoman of the design committee.

With the exception of the small office that will be used by the committee, the second floor will be open to the public for events.

“The big room out there is intended to be a community room,” said Rodger Smalley, with the Archive Commission. He was able to provide some insight on what displays will be like and what the second floor will look like. “People will be able to reserve it. … Most of it we have planned will be displays on the walls.”

Lamb was one of the city officials who spearheaded this project and has been involved during the whole process.

“It was just incredible. I’ve done a lot of stuff, I’ve been here a long time but this was an exceptional experience,” said Lamb. “The mayor and I, we’re not the same but we think a lot alike. The mayor said to me one time, ‘The only building we own on the square is this and here we have a floor this size that is not accessible,’ and that’s why I think this idea kind of gelled.”

The project, which cost more than $75,000 and took several years to complete, got compliments from all the officials and community members who came to see it.

“Real museums are places where time is transformed into place,” said state Rep. Steve Hambley, R-Brunswick. “That’s exactly what we are here celebrating.”

Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, described Medina Square as one of his favorite places in the world and recognized the view of the square.

“One of the characteristics of some of the greatest cities around the world is continual renewal,” said Medina County Commissioner William Hutson. “They preserve their architectural past but yet they are always renewing portions of their cities too. ... Medina might not be on the scale of London or one of those large cities but it’s admirable that city continues to invest in itself.”

In other news, the city welcomed Ora Designs, 901 N. Court St., to the community and celebrated the grand reopening of Hair Classics, 520 E. Smith Road.

Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at (330) 721-4063 or aalfano@medina-gazette.com.
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