New parks/rec. office open for biz at Seymour Lake

The staff of the Oxford Twp. Parks and Recreation Dept. is now conducting business from their new administrative offices in Seymour Lake Park. Pictured are (from left) Lauren Jacobsen, Jeff Kinasz, Dawn Medici, Dan Sullivan and Ron Davis. Photo by CJC.
The staff of the Oxford Twp. Parks and Recreation Dept. is now conducting business from their new administrative offices in Seymour Lake Park. Pictured are (from left) Lauren Jacobsen, Jeff Kinasz, Dawn Medici, Dan Sullivan and Ron Davis. Photo by CJC.

Folks looking to register for programs through the Oxford Township Parks and Recreation Department needn’t bother going to the village municipal complex on W. Burdick St. anymore.

Nobody’s home.

After 15 years of leasing space from the village, the department’s offices are now located inside Seymour Lake Township Park, just east of the park entrance.

On Monday, the two-story, 2,500-square-foot office space officially opened for business.

“I’m excited to get the general public in here so they can see it,” said Parks and Rec. Director Ron Davis.

“It’s nice to have our own space, to be totally on our own,” said Recreation Developer Dan Sullivan.

Beginning in May, a whole host of contractors from in and around Oxford worked hard to transform the park’s former maintenance barn into the department’s new office space.

“It exceeded my expectations,” said Davis, adding that when folks who knew it as a maintenance facility see it now, they “just can’t believe” the transformation.

“It turned out exactly the way we wanted – nicer, actually . . . The carpet, the colors, the tile, everything just fit together,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Kinasz. “We knew going in what we were looking to do, so we did have that vision up front.”

The first floor has a reception area and individual offices for the recreation specialist, Dawn Medici, and two recreation developers, Lauren Jacobsen and Sullivan.

“I think it’s amazing,” Jacobsen said. “It looks awesome. It smells brand new.”

“I’m really excited to be out here at our park where so many things are happening,” she added. “I would say, easily, 75 percent of our programs (take place here), all throughout the year – soccer programs, softball, all sorts of stuff.”

Sullivan agreed.

“Half of my programs are now run outside our front door,” he said. “For me to get to the fields – soccer, softball, baseball – (or to the) splash pad, anything I oversee . . . it’s a little more convenient.”

Medici likes the fact she now has her very own office where she can think, conduct business over the phone and meet with people without having to worry about interruptions or distractions.

“I’ll be able to have some privacy,” she said. “I can close my door . . . I’m just excited to have a space to call home.”

Davis’ office is on the second floor adjacent to a conference room and storage space. His windows offer a great view of all the park’s amenities, from the Kids Kingdom playground and softball fields to the splash pad and tennis courts.

He noted this is his fifth office in 22 years as director. “Fifth and final,” Davis said. “I leave here, I’m headed to retirement. I’m not moving again.”

Davis was appreciative of the Oxford school district for previously donating five used desks, plus credenzas, to help furnish the offices, plus a used flagpole that will stand near the main entrance.

With so many people already utilizing Seymour Lake Park for their various recreational activities and programs, it makes sense to parks and rec. staff members that their offices be located there so they can answer questions, provide information, accept program registrations and handle any issues that may arise.

“Every day, there’s people in this park that will probably just stop in and get information, instead of (having) to run up town,” Kinasz said. “Once everybody gets used to it, I think they’ll like it because they’re coming here anyway. Whether it’s the playground, the splash pad, softball, soccer, whatever it is, most people are coming out here to do something.”

“It is a few more miles outside of town, but it’s a one-stop shop now,” Sullivan said. “You can come here, then head out into the park.”

Having the administrative offices and maintenance facility – a new one was built on the park’s southeast side – finally situated on the same site will be convenient for the staff as well.

“That will save me a lot of time running back and forth,” Kinasz said. “It’s going to shorten up our day because we’re all here together now. That makes it a lot easier on everybody, I think.”

In addition to offices, the building contains a spacious multipurpose community room that will be used for everything from recreation programs and coaches meetings to safety classes and private events. The private events are expected to generate additional revenue for the department via rental fees.

“The community room provides us a huge opportunity to (implement) some additional programming that we don’t currently offer as well as hold meetings and (conduct) training,” Sullivan said.

Kinasz wished to “thank everybody” who contributed to making this project happen, including township officials, contractors and the taxpayers. He singled out the contractors for some special thanks.

“The contractors helped us every step of the way,” he said. “They all stepped up and (went) the extra mile to get this done on time, which is hard to do. It’s really hard to keep everybody moving, but they did it.”

The parks and rec. office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.oxparkrec.org or call (248) 628-1720.

 

2 Responses to "New parks/rec. office open for biz at Seymour Lake"

  1. Pat Anderson   August 11, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Everything sounds great. But NO mention of the senior building that was suppose to be built here. The Senior Euchre Club is still playing at the village complex. We have heard the building has been for sale. We don’t know how long we will be able to stay here. If it’s sold we have no where to play.
    Our club is growing , we will need a bigger room. Some of our chairs that we use are in very poor condition. When can we see the senior building at Seymour Lake Park as promised?

    Reply
    • CJ Carnacchio
      CJ Carnacchio   August 12, 2017 at 10:43 am

      There was no mention because this was simply a story about the new parks and rec. office and community room now being open to the public and what staff members thought of the new facility.
      Plans for the senior room are still on the books and were mentioned in the July 12, 2017 story entitled, “Parks/rec. close to new home.”
      In that story it was stated — “At some point, the parks and rec. department is planning to add approximately 3,000 square feet to the building on the east side of the multi-purpose room. This addition would house a senior activities room, plus a basic warming kitchen. The estimated cost is $357,000.

      “However, a funding source for this project has not been determined by officials. Davis is hoping to use money leftover from creating the offices and multi-purpose room to at least fund part of it. ‘We’re trying to save as much as we can on this building to put toward that building,’ he said.”

      As for the village selling its W. Burdick St. building, voters did give council the authority to sell, if they so choose, in the November 2012 election. However, to date, council has made no decisions in this area, nor is it considering any offers right now. The only thing council is looking into is what to do with the old township hall space and the old parks and rec. office space. There has been no talk recently about selling the entire building.

      Reply

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