Johnstown Independent

Lee Lenn Hannahs Memorial Park

Shelter house late but should be up soon

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Keith Ryan of Ryan Builders digs holes for a 40-by-50-foot shelter house being built at Lee Lenn Hannahs Memorial Park, near the Johnstown rec center. The shelter house is scheduled to be completed within the next three weeks. Money for the project, which is expected to cost $24,900, came from the village's capital improvement budget.

A new shelter house at Lee Lenn Hannahs Memorial Park, near the Johnstown recreation center, was supposed to be open for gatherings by Labor Day.

Completion is a little late, but residents might be able to use it for a Halloween party.

Contractors got a late start in replacing the dilapidated shelter house in an effort to improve parks and recreation.

"We still hope people will be able to use it this fall," village service director Jack Liggett said. "Obviously, with the weather, it's likely to get more use next year. Our future plans are to get electric and water to it. It's going to have a nice concrete floor with tables."

The new shelter is a 40-by-50-foot area under cover, with an outside area that's 40 feet by 20 feet.

The village selected Johnstown-area custom residential company Ryan Builders to complete the project for $24,900, which came from the capital improvements fund. The shelter cost was less than an amount that would have required the project to be bid under Ohio law.

"We kept our costs down by not going out to bid," Liggett said. "We're getting more building for less money, and we're keeping the money here locally."

The old shelter, which was torn down, wasn't highly visible because of trees. Police had expressed concerns about illegal or suspicious activities there.

The village had crews use a backhoe to tear down the structure, which had two holes in the roof.

The new shelter overlooks a playground, and a walking path could be added to the property in the near future.

"This has been a long time coming," Liggett said. "We are currently trying to upgrade our parks and swings. We're removing old trees and mulching. We want our residents to remain in town and use those facilities, and this shelter house is going to be a wonderful addition."