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Sandusky Bay Pavilion ideas from a guy who drove around the lake

Jason Werling • Jul 2, 2015 at 9:48 AM

I live in Sandusky. I play in Sandusky. I work in Sandusky. I love Sandusky.

Last month's drive around Lake Erie put a lot of things in perspective for me and our town on the lake.

To read Sharon Johnston's take on the pavilion property, click HERE

It's no big secret, I'm on the Recreation Board for the city. We meet, we plan, we make decisions and then we make suggestions for the city's recreation areas and programs. Earlier this week many residents and members of various organizations attended a meeting at Sandusky High School to voice suggestions on what should be done with the Sandusky Bay Pavilion waterfront property on Water Street. Many people voiced the opinion it should be kept a park and the public should have access to it. Probably a good choice since if the property was sold, the city would have to find comparable property in city limits to replace it.

We, as a city, have a six-acre waterfront property that is great for events, but has an old and broken wave pool on it.

So what should we do?

Fix the pool or build a new one — I would love to have a wave-action pool back in the city, I used to visit Surf's Up with my YMCA day camp all the way from Toledo. During our trip around the lake, my boys and I visited a similar pool at the Lake Erie Metropark in Michigan and we had a great time. The pool there was surrounded by a giant water slide, playgrounds and an education center. But Sandusky had a wave pool and it obviously didn't do well enough at the time so we have a hole in the ground and a potential hazard.

Build an education center — BGSU has expressed an interest in the property for providing a hands-on exhibit and research facility with specialization in areas pertaining to Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie. Not a bad idea and it has potential even if it wasn't located on the pavilion property. Our trip around the lake included museum and education center stops. We learned about each of the area's we visited during these stops.

Here's my pitch: Build a tower — during our trip around the lake, one waterfront city stood out. Erie, PA has a great waterfront with museums, marinas and public access to the water. The Presque Isle State Park was one of the highlights of the trip. The city of Erie celebrated their bicentennial in the mid 1990s and decided a tower should be built to commemorate their 200 years. Visitors to the 187-foot Bicentennial tower ascend to the top in an elevator and see panoramic views of the city, the lake, their bay and their state park. Visitors to a similar tower in Sandusky could see views of our city, the lake, our bay and Marblehead Peninsula and our amusement park Cedar Point. And I hear our city has a bicentennial coming up, 2018 isn't too far away. The footprint would use about the same area as the current closed pool.

But like most things in life, it costs money and my salary here at the Register won't cover the $2 million that built the Bicentennial Tower in Erie to build us our own in Sandusky.

So what do you think? Get involved and let those who make the decisions know how you feel. You live here, you play here, you work here and hopefully you love it here.

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