Renovations complete at Fox Twp. Community Building

Renovations have recently been completed at the Fox Township Community Building following a two-year-long project. Fox Township Public Works Director Randy Gradizzi said the building underwent a complete remodel. Among those changes was the installation of a new metal roof, creation of a new fitness center, refurbishing of the gym’s floor, installation of a new heating system, electrical work, new metal siding on the front and side of the building, new walls and landscaping. The community building was formerly owned by the township, which allowed the Fox Township Lions Club to manage the facility. In the past, it was used for a variety of purposes, including weddings, dances and other large-scale events. “We were trying to think of different uses for the building,” Gradizzi said, referring to converting the facility to a recreational space.Built in the early 1950s, this is the first time any renovations have been made to the community building. The total cost of the renovations was approximately $59,000. In 2009 the township budgeted $37,000 for the building upgrades and budgeted $22,000 for the project in 2010.Bids were contracted out for roofing and siding, while township employees completed excavating, foundation and landscaping work. Prior to the project, an engineer conducted a study of the building and the necessary work required to bring it up to code.“It was in rough shape,” Gradizzi said.Gradizzi explained that because there is no sprinkler system in the building, it may no longer be rented out for functions attracting large crowds, such as wedding receptions, and added that it wo uld cost too much to install the sprinklers. By utilizing the facility as a gymnasium, the building falls under a different code and the addition of a sprinkler system is not required.The main gym area, encompassing 4,000 square feet, is currently being used as a volleyball court and can also be used as a basketball court. A large, circular Fox Township athletic-themed logo was hand-painted in the center of the gym by local resident Derek Bauer. According to Gradizzi, the building will now typically accommodate groups no larger than 100 people and is only for use by nonprofit organizations. There is a minimal fee for area sporting leagues, teams and activity groups to use the building. Those interested in reserving the building should contact Gradizzi or Rob Singer, code enforcement officer, at the township building. Local resident Justin Swackhammer, who is organizing a weekly basketball league at the gym, said anyone interested in participating should contact him at 814-512-0904.Gradizzi also noted that the stage at the back of the building has been kept intact.Currently an indoor adult volleyball league uses the gym for its winter league and many area residents take advantage of the facility for use as an indoor walking track. In addition, karate classes taught by J.M. Williamson are held at the facility once a week.For more information on this story, see the November 10 edition of The Daily Press.