Paperwork stalls demolition plans

Plans to demolish several buildings at the Tiffin Developmental Center have been put on hold by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities so it can review documentation allowing for the demolition.

The Tiffin Fire Department used one of the five cottages to conduct training exercises late last week.

The cottages are within the National Register of Historic Places district at the Tiffin Developmental Center, or the former Junior Home.

The five cottages slated for demolition include the West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and District of Columbia cottages. Also on the board for demolition is the old Clinic building, DODD Chief Public Information Officer Kerry Francis said.

Tiffin Historic Trust Secretary Nancy Rubenstein said the area is an important part of the community, as the center is the host of the Halloween Parade.

The trust also recently purchased new historic district signs, which included a new sign for the district.

She said because the demolition was not publicized, Tiffin residents and many residents of the old Junior Home may not have been aware of the demolitions.

Francis said the nearly century-old buildings do not meet code because they do not have sprinklers and the boilers are to be decommissioned this fall.

The buildings also do not meet the department’s needs, nor are they necessary for the center, Francis said.

Francis said the demolitions were discussed with representatives from the Junior Home last fall. No public announcement was made regarding them.

The DODD is to meet with the Ohio Historical Society to make sure additional steps are taken to move forward with the demolition and have the project documented appropriately.