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Auglaize County Veterans Pavilion is dedicated

Lima News - 6/14/2024

Jun. 14—WAPAKONETA — It has been a long road to get the Auglaize County Veterans Pavilion built at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.

But Veterans Service Office director Rob Wiss said at Friday's dedication ceremony the pavilion would give the office good opportunities to connect with veterans in the county at a comfortable setting.

"We're very excited," he said. "This will give us the opportunity now when we're out here all week to offer more services to the veterans."

Paul Regula, a part-time fair worker and Army veteran, said he came to the event to show support for something he thought was awesome.

"I think it's going to be used year-round," he said. "I saw the plans prior to it being built and I think it turned out great. This is a major plus, not just for the fair, but for Auglaize County and surrounding counties."

The facility, constructed by Baumer Construction out of Minster, also has something that is the first of its kind for the time being in Ohio: an adult changing table in its restroom.

Superintendent of the Auglaize CountyBoard of Developmental Disabilities Renee Kohler said the space was going to be used for storage, but the county used funding from the American Rescue Plan Act in 2023 to install the feature to make it more accessible.

"We want to see universal changing tables in public spaces because it opens the community up for full access for all residents and visitors by allowing people of all ages with physical disabilities to attend public spaces and events without worrying what they're going to do when they need to use the restroom," she said. "It's very exciting because the impact will be felt for years. People with disabilities, kids with developmental disabilities, injured veterans and the elderly will be able to fully access events and activities just like everyone else. They can stay as long as they want and truly be a part of things."

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.

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