To be held Nov. 13
The event is presented with the support of the Champaign County Memorial Foundation.
Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the Arts Council office, 119 Miami St. or on the CCAC website. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with a credit card.
The VFW is located at 220 East Court St., Urbana. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Music and dancing will be from 6-9 p.m.
The versatile 10-piece Bob Gray Orchestra will play a variety of music including ’40s style “Big Band Swing.” The band has been in existence since 1973, and its top-caliber musicians also perform in other musical organizations, including the Dayton Philharmonic and the Springfield Symphony.
Veterans are welcomed to come in uniform.
The diamond sponsor of this event is The Champaign County Memorial Foundation.
The gold sponsor is Bundy Baking Solutions.
Silver sponsors are Rosewood Machine & Tool, Skelley Lumber and KTH Parts Industries.
Bronze sponsors include Willman Furniture, Edward Jones Investments, Farmers and Merchants State Bank and Walter & Lewis Funeral Home.
This program is also sponsored by a grant from The Ohio Arts Council, which uses state tax dollars to fund programs such as this to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
For more information, contact the Champaign County Arts Council at 937-653-7557. Office hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
“This new building is so convenient and it is handicap-accessible compared to the other building,” said Senior Center member Joyce Bowlin. “There is a lot of neat stuff here.”
“In January 2019, we celebrated the donation of land for the new center from Civista Bank,” said vice president of the Senior Center board Mary Lee Gecowets. “This generous donation truly started this project. We also received a major contribution from the Memorial Foundation for the project. And I thank the voters for helping us pass the levy.”
On October 16, 2020, construction began.
Today, only a year later, the project is complete.
The facility was built with a .5-mill tax levy. After five years, the levy will be finished and the building will be paid for.
To cover operating expenses, there is a separate .4-mill tax levy that will need to
The builder was Marker Construction and the architect was Beasley Architecture & Design.
The building is comprised of 9,153 square feet.
“(Senior Center Director) Stacy Barnhart and the board were great to work with. It was refreshing to work with such a progressive-minded and future-thinking group. We are proud to have been a part of this beautiful facility,” said Randy Marker, CEO of Marker Construction.
“This was such an impressive team. Mary Lee and the trustees demonstrated incredible discipline and restraint, knowing the importance of passing the levy to secure the funds to build a facility that met their members’ and the community’s needs well into the future,” said Project Executive, Matt Ludwig.
Membership is open to anyone 55 or older.
With the “county fair special” still available, membership costs $20 for the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022. To join with a spouse or a roommate, the combined cost would be $35.
Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 2pm-7pm: Quilt Guild, All Ages.
Saturdays, September 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2021 from 11am-2pm: Anime Club, Ages 13+
Monday, September 6, 2020 All Day: Library is closed in observance of Labor Day.
Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 4pm-5pm: Lego Club, Ages 5 – 12
Monday, September 13, 2021 from 3:30pm–4:30pm: Explorer’s Club, Ages 6 (Kindergarten)–5th Grade
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 from 10am–11am, 2pm–3pm, and 5:30pm-6:30pm: Online Resources Class, All Ages
Wednesdays, September 15, 22, and 29, 2021 from 11am–11:45am: Story Time, Ages 2–5
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 from 6:30pm-8pm: Homegoing Community Conversation Session 3 (Zoom), Ages 15+. Registration required.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 from 5:30pm-6:30pm: Fall Wine Bottle Décor, Ages 18+
Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 2:30pm-3:30pm: Generation Next: A Gift of Relaxation, Ages 11 – 18
Monday, September 27, 2021 from 4pm-5pm: Generation What’s Next, Ages 11 – 18
Monday, September 27, 2021 from 5:30pm-6:30pm: Book Chatter, Ages 18+
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 5:30pm-6:30pm: Slogan Trivia, All Ages
Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 4:30pm-5:30pm: Simple Watercolor Illuminated Lettering with Lisa, All Ages
For more information, visit Mechanicsburg Public Library's website here or call (937)834-2004.
The event was sponsored by Dream Flights, an organization dedicated to honoring military veterans and seniors with no-cost flights. This was part of Operation September, a program to give back to senior veterans.
It’s almost as beneficial for the Dream Flights employees as for their clients.
“It spins the clock backwards and reconnects them with their youth,” said Marcus Smith, a Dream Flight pilot and crew chief. “It’s such a rewarding thing to be able to do. They love it and gives them some excitement in their lives they’ve been missing.”
Families and friends were invited for the big day.
Thursday, July 1, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Chalkboard Craft Ages 18+
Thursdays, July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2021 from 2 pm – 4 pm: Knitting/Crochet Class All Ages.
Fridays, July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2021 from 10 am-7 pm: Coloring for Relaxation Ages 13+
Saturdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2021 from 11 am-2 pm: Anime Club Ages 13+
Monday, July 5, 2021 from 2 pm-3 pm: Generation Next: Marshmallow Shooter Ages 11–18
Tuesdays, July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2021 from 11 am – 11:45 am: Juvenile Summer Reading Ages 2–5th Grade
Tuesday, July 6, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Sweet Summer Watermelon Canvas Ages 18+
Wednesdays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2021 from 11 am – 11:45 am: Story Time Ages 2–5
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Euchre Ages 18+
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Lego Club Ages 5–12
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 6 pm-7pm: Quilt Guild. All Ages
Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 11 am – 1 pm: Books & Bridle. Ages 5–18
Monday, July 12, 2021 from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Explorer’s Club Ages 6 (Kindergarten)–5th Grade
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Sand Art. All Ages
Thursday, July 15, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Bingo. All Ages
Monday, July 19, 2021 from 2 pm-3 pm: Generation Next: Etched Glass Bottle Ages 11–18
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Fruit Stamped Tea Towels. Ages 18+
Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Paper Beads Jewelry. Ages 18+
Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 4 pm-5 pm: Generation What’s Next Ages 11–18.
Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm: Beach Canvas. Ages 13+.
Monday, July 26, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Book Club Ages 18+.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Flag Trivia. All Ages.
Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Clear Gem Magnets. Ages 18+.
Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 4-6 pm: Mechanicsburg Safety Day. Ages Incoming Kindergarten–1st Grade.
More for Mechanicsburg Public Library
For details on each event and to learn more about what is happening at Mechanicsburg Public Library, click here or call 937-834-2004!
Tours Available by Appointment
Seniors age 55+ who are interested in leasing a Legacy Place apartment can visit livelegacyplace.com to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire and to schedule a tour at Legacy North or South. Or they may contact the Legacy Place management team at 937-638-0211 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Meals-Herron said that her team has already assisted several seniors who completed the questionnaire.
Tours will be scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m., by appointment, after June 10. To request a tour, click the Request to Tour button on the livelegacyplace.com home page.
Legacy Place Amenities
“The Legacy Place properties merge history and modern architecture to provide residents a comfortable, beautiful place to live and stay active,” Meals-Herron said. The one- and two-bedroom apartments are equipped with washers, dryers and kitchen appliances. Some incorporate features of the schools like chalkboards, bulletin boards and wall art.
Legacy Place North amenities include a community room, computer stations and a library. Legacy Place South offers a fitness center, library, and a community room large enough to host special events, such as a senior prom, for residents of all three Legacy Place properties, Meals-Herron said. The South community room, formerly the school’s gym and stage, also includes the school’s projection room, which will be used for movie nights.
Other features include a unit at Legacy Place North that residents can reserve for out-of-town guests. Both of the school properties will have outdoor grilling stations and are keeping much of the schools’ playground equipment. “That will be great for residents to go outside with their grandchildren.” In addition, residents can reserve the community rooms for family functions.
She adds, “This is an absolutely amazing project. I’m so excited. I can’t wait until our residents begin to move in.”
“Legacy Place will enrich our community in many ways,” said Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership. “It will provide seniors comfortable, affordable living as it restores and gives new purpose to three historic buildings, helps make our community more attractive, increases the vitality of downtown Urbana, and strengthens our local economy.”
And as seniors sell their homes and move into Legacy Place apartments, the project will help ease the shortage of available single-family homes, she added. “I’m so grateful for the public-private partnerships that have made Legacy Place possible,” she said.
The Douglas Hotel and the former North and South Elementary Schools are part of a collective renovation project to save the historic buildings and transform them into affordable senior living options.
It all started with some local leaders reaching out to Duane Miller, the president of F&C Legacy Place - a branch of Flaherty & Collins Properties - and a developer who has dedicated much of his career to saving and renovating historical buildings across the country.
“I look for these kinds of historic projects,” says Indiana-based Miller. “It all started from a lead that there were some historic buildings that needed saving in Ohio.”
Conversations led to many meetings between Miller, Flaherty & Collins, the City of Urbana, the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), Urbana City Schools' administration and board of education, and Resident Supports and Services, Inc. (RSSI), which is a local non-profit that provides housing for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities.
The 17 units that are being built within the Douglas Hotel weren’t enough to secure the funding Miller wanted for the project. So he began looking to include the former North and South Elementary buildings as well.
With another 24 housing units to be available between the two schools, Miller says the total of 51 units was more of the scale of what he was hoping for to get the project off the ground.
Though shutdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays in processing paperwork and funding early this year, Miller says the community-focused group of supporters pushed forward. The project was able to secure $13 million in financing, including federal and state Historic Tax credits, low income housing credits, an Ohio Housing Finance Agency loan, and a construction loan.
“That’s really how this got pulled off,” Miller says. “This is totally a community effort – kudos to all those who were involved in helping.”
CEP Executive Director Marcia Bailey says she almost had to pinch herself when work officially started on the buildings because it was like a dream come true after so many years of collaboration and work to get the project started.
“Today, it looks like ‘ants’ in every building,” Bailey says. “There are construction crews in there, and you can see where they’re working from outside by building by the different lights on in different windows every day.”
Bailey says that though people driving through downtown Urbana won’t see much of a difference outside the building’s front, that behind the building is full of crews working hard to make all the updates to the interior.
“The Douglas Hotel was the anchor of the Southwest corner of downtown,” she says. “Some thought it should be torn down and others wanted to save it because of it’s history. This is the perfect mix of both; it will be revitalized into something new.
“The building finally is going to be use. It’s going to be a beautiful building again and not an eyesore with boarded up windows. Just that ambiance of what it’s going to look like, let alone the income that’s going to be generated in the downtown by the merchants – it’s going to be huge.”
With more updates to be done to the Douglas Hotel than to either school building, Miller says the plan is for renovations to the school to wrap up in May and for the Douglas living spaces to be ready by the end of 2021.
He says lease options will open about 90 days before each project’s completion.
One of the things both Bailey and Miller say is most exciting about the projects is the uniqueness that will be offered in each unit.
Because the buildings are pre-existing and historic, there won’t be any “cookie cutter” designs. Units will be different sizes with different layouts and designs.
And, some special historic features will be left in the buildings so the flavor of what makes them historic won’t be lost.
For example, many of the chalkboards in the school buildings will stay in place and be built into the new living units.
Also in the school buildings, the stages and gyms will remain as open community spaces where residents can dance, play bingo, or possibly even watch youth performances. Miller says he’s working with the Champaign Family YMCA to find possible programming and education opportunities.
“We want to build that community environment,” he says. “You want to create that family and that community feeling.”
Though Miller himself isn’t from Urbana, he wanted to ensure that the buildings stay meaningful and useful for people locally. He wants them to be a part of the community, and he says the investment from local individuals has been key to the entire project.
“To their credit, to their teams’ credit – not every community gets in and do what they do,” Miller says. “You need those ‘boots on the ground’ people who care and really get it. You can’t just pull this off just being a developer. You need to be a developer who plugs into the community and gets support – and that’s just what happened here.”
By: Jenna Lawson, WHIO
View video of the announcement on WHIO's website
There were many points in the last five years that community partners thought ‘Legacy Place’ might never happen.
It took time to capture nearly $13 million in funding sources, including historic tax credits – not to mention delays due to the pandemic. But on Thursday, partners announced the funds were released and they are able to move forward with the project. It’s possible construction could start within the next week.
‘Legacy Place’ transforms the Douglas Inn in downtown Urbana and two former elementary schools (North & South) into affordable senior housing. 51 units will be created for those 55 and older, with six of them being devoted to people with disabilities.
“It’s just a real renaissance for Urbana,” Mayor Bill Bean told News Center 7′s Jenna Lawson.
Duane Miller, with development company Flaherty & Collins and also president of F & C Legacy Place, said the project accomplishes two goals: turning three vacant properties into useful properties and filling the need for affordable senior housing in Urbana.
“I love to jump into the skin of a community that’s looking for help and looking for opportunities to spur on their own development,” he said.
The Douglas has been vacant since 2004 and has long been a large eyesore on the southwest corner of Monument Square. The building has somewhat deteriorated and was the target of multiple arson fires in 2019.
The former owner of the property, John Doss, has done work to stabilize the structure. The elementary schools, despite being about 100 years old, are in solid shape, partners said.
The timeline for the project will move quickly. Developers estimate about six months to complete both elementary schools and a little over a year to finish the Douglas. Partners are hopeful that the project will have a positive domino effect on other aspects of Urbana living including neighboring businesses and housing.
“We may see some of those seniors who may move in here and now their single family homes are available for a new families to move in,” said director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, Marcia Bailey.
Bailey added that this solution also preserves the history of all three buildings for the community to enjoy for decades to come. “Having these buildings standing as they are and being repurposed is a huge win for our community,” she said.
Other partners in the project include the City of Urbana, Urbana City Schools and Resident Supports and Services, Inc., which provides housing for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities.