Moving Forward – June 1

Community Updates

Progress continues in the Oddfellows Lodge as we come out of the holiday weekend. This four commercial and fifteen residential space building acts as the cornerstone of Phase One. The building is deep in the middle of its construction schedule and is slated to be finished in early 2023.

Cooking up something new.

101 E. Main St., a projected corner restaurant space serving the Washington and Main St. corridors, has doorways for restrooms, bar, and kitchen access cut through the brick walls and stabilized. The 3,670 sq. ft. commercial location will span two storefronts and is being designed to accommodate access between the two spaces. Water and sewage lines have been installed in the basement of the building to service the restaurant space as well as the rest of the Oddfellows Lodge building. Previous work included pressure-testing the installation of the sewage systems and ensuring proper connection can be made to the sewer main.

Digging deep for a better building tomorrow.

Much basement work has wrapped up including the finalization of the pier and beams support system at the bottom of 108 N.  Washington St. (formally The Warehouse). Wooden beams, 6”x6” pressure treated lumber, were installed first, followed by 4” square steel tubing. To install the tubing a scaffolding structure was built underneath the building, raised flush to the floor joists, and then was raised. The scaffolding supported the entirety of the building as the tubing was bolted down, welded, and positioned accordingly. These steel tubes replaced a conglomeration of different supporting materials including a 14”x14” rough-hewn timber block and a support beam created with brick, concrete, and wooden shims.

108 N. Washington St. had further foundation work completed on the first floor. The back of the building needed a gravel infill and concrete flooring laid to level off the floor for commercial use. The previous flooring in the building’s rear incorporated a mix of materials: a crawl space covered with hardwood flooring overlaid with concrete that had cracked and split, then covered with an additional layer of wooden decking. With all of the previous materials removed, the concrete flooring now offers a safe, usable floor for a business operator.

Shedding a little more light on the project.

To the south of 108 N. Washington St. and at the rear of 105 E. Main St., the lightwell and residential work continue on schedule. A temporary gutter was installed to stop rainwater from dropping from the third floor directly into the new lightwell concrete below. This will be removed once the lightwell’s roof is removed, and new gutters will be installed. The lightwell will include a courtyard for the apartment residents to use and rear access for employees and business owners of the commercial spaces in the Oddfellows Lodge.

Additional work in that same area includes a new switchback staircase. With the elevator shaft work coming to a close, construction will begin on the new staircase. The stairs will be illuminated from the lightwell on the north side looking into the courtyard with the south side flush to the elevator shaft. To build the new staircase and elevator a new roof was built above 105 E. Main St., raising the ceiling height of the current space. The building’s original roof has also been removed. Moreover, this removal creates one additional apartment space in the Oddfellows Lodge. The 713 sq. ft. apartment will be a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment, and overlook E. Main. St to the south.

Supporting community non-profits.

In Van Wert County Foundation news, The Foundation recently released designated grants to area non-profits for $1.4 million dollars. When community members leave endowments with the VWCF, they can name organizations (sports-based, religious, health-focused, etc.) to receive funding from their endowment each year. These permanent designated funds are held by The Foundation, which distributes supporting dollars to the organizations in perpetuity.

One such organization that receives funding from The Foundation is Lifewise Academy – Van Wert. The Goldie Myers Trust and LifeWise Academy Endowment Fund (a #GivingTuesday fund initiative) provided more than $7,000 to the organization to be used for their operational purposes this year.

The VWCF focuses on creating a well-resourced and thriving quality of life for our community by supporting purpose, inspiring growth, and building the future. Van Wert Forward is focused on transforming quality of place in our downtown built environment. Questions about The Van Wert County Foundation and Van Wert Forward can be directed to Joel Germann,