HUBBARD — After many years of planning and fundraisers, including the annual Taste of Hubbard, work is set to begin next spring on the Harding Park Meeting House building to be located near the park’s main entrance.

Members of the Harding Park Meeting House Building Committee, who have spent many years planning for the project, say the new structure will be something for future generations to see and use for years to come.

It will incorporate the bell tower from the former Hubbard Presbyterian Church meeting house built in 1857.

“We want to keep this history for future generations to see,” said Linda Clark, a committee member.

Committee member Mary Buchenic said a woodworker has been able to reclaim some of the original meeting house wood to be incorporated for the new project.

When finished, the structure — which will be located across from where the bell tower is today — will be able to be used for weddings and other social gatherings.

Clark said when completed the park will have “a very unique structure.”

“This will be in a beautiful park setting … It will be the first thing you see when you come into the park. A lot of hard work has been done to get this project started. It will be a blessing to have this completed for future generations” Clark said.

Buchenic said the current bell tower will be incorporated into the project and likely be perched along the top of the meeting house.

Tom Papa, committee president, said the project was approved more than 20 years ago and the committee has been working on getting it started since then.

“We have been holding our breath ever since we began to see where we would go with this. We are very happy that work will begin next spring,” he said.

Buchenic said the committee is having Katie Spires, an architect with BSHM Architects, design an outdoor structure that is not enclosed.

Buchenic said the project is under $80,000.

What is key is the structure will maintain the original church meeting house structure.

The structure will have two parallel trellises with the church bell and a percola. She said there will be a courtyard in between the two rows of trellises, the percola with the bell in between.

Dave Kyle, a committee member, said the committee has worked very diligently with things changing over the course of time.

“We are happy with what we will go forward with. This will be great for the park and community and great for the committee to see all the hard work finally become a reality,” he said.

Buchenic said Kerola Family PI&I Motor Express Trucking is helping to transport the wood for the project from one location to another.

An annual fundraiser Taste of the Valley was not able to be held this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Donations for the project can be sent to Harding Park Meeting House, P.O. Box 177, Hubbard, OH 44425 with checks made out to HPMH Harding Park Meeting House.

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