$2.3 million Hayes Civic Center opens

October 30, 2015

Left, John Scherrer and Terry Acton pose outside the new Hayes Township government office and community center. Acton is the current township supervisor and Scherrer is a former supervisor who is a current trustee.

Left, John Scherrer and Terry Acton pose outside the new Hayes Township government office and community center. Acton is the current township supervisor and Scherrer is a former supervisor who is a current trustee.

By Rosemary Horvath
Correspondent

Off North Clare Avenue, turn east onto Townline Lake Road and be dazzled by attractive scenery. No, not just Budd Lake.
Gone is the drab Hayes Township government office building and the large Civic Center gymnasium that was vacated a few years ago.
In full view today is the guts of the Civic Center that has been reshaped and remodeled with a contemporary design and building functionality.
Township Supervisor Terry Acton was available for a tour Sunday, the day before township offices officially opened to the public. A large section of the $2.3 million building won’t be finished for several months.

The main entrance is in the center of the building. Doors at either end are safety exits.
At the south end is a row of offices for treasurer and clerk and their deputies. Visitors walk up a hallway to a counter of the respective office they want. Security glass planted with microphones separates the public approach.

Around the corner is the office of supervisor, much smaller than the others. That’s because “clerk and treasurer are the busiest,” Acton said.
A room that was added at the last minute in planning is a fireproof safe to store critical documents the township is required by law to retain in perpetuity. “It can also serve as a tornado shelter,” added Acton.

There’s a kitchen/break room and a board room for meetings that also is a multi-purpose room. Smart TV screens are mounted on walls throughout the building, including in this room where PowerPoint presentations and videos can be shown by anyone addressing the board.

“This is a good functional government building,” said Acton, who shepherded the campaign to win over the public on the project.
Next is an exercise room. Residents can use the equipment at no charge. Nonresidents will pay a slight fee although the cost has not been determined.
There are restrooms for the gym area and a single unisex accessible shower.

Acton estimated In early 2016 the township will hire a part-time event planner to organize the schedule and activities of the community center/gymnasium. Acton predicted events such as gun shows, quilting shows, maybe even snowmobile shows would rent space.

“The whole complex is 15,000 square feet and the gym/multi-purpose room is about 6,000,” Acton said.
John Scherrer, township trustee, said lights had to be switched on walking into the old gym. Small windows high across the walls of the new gym provide ample sunlight.

The entire space has been fortified as an emergency shelter for the northern area of the county. The township worked with emergency management director Jerry Becker.

At the north end of the building is a separate area that can be used as a dining room and a soon-to-be fully equipped industrial kitchen.
“We will rent this out. There will be one price for local residents, one for nonresidents and one price if alcohol is served. The insurance will be built right into the fee,” Acton said.

At one time the kitchen was planned with an open flame grill. To avoid the hundred grand cost, Acton said, a natural gas grill was built just outside the window. Food cooked outside on the grill will be passed through the opening.

Selling alcohol is prohibited but serving alcohol will be permitted under a short term license, he added.
The area designated years ago for skateboarding that never took flight will have a new purpose. Fencing around the court will be removed and a pavilion built. The area is near the kitchen. Officials foresee holding music in the park and other events at the site.

Township officials seemed most excited over the geothermal system that will heat and cool the building throughout. A small room stores the two electric motors and energy recovery ventilators.

Stylish LED lighting accents the exterior of the building.
Goudreau Associations of Mt. Pleasant was the architect and JBS Contracting Inc. was the contractor.

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