Sauder Village branches out

Sauder Village branches out

Sauder Heritage Inn’s $8 million, 47,360 square foot expansion is nearing completion. Construction began in November 2005 and is scheduled to conclude in time for guests to arrive over Thanksgiving weekend.

The facility addition connects to the south side of the existing structure and includes 64 new guest rooms (nearly tripling guest room capacity), an indoor pool, a new game room, a new exercise room, and gathering spaces. A large, faux oak tree will stand adjacent to the indoor pool and serve as a unique focal point, according to Sauder Village, for the facility’s atrium.

NatureMaker, creator of the steel art tree, has built the statuesque element in Carlsbad, California. It has been transported to northwest Ohio in sections to be put together and centered in the atrium. It is 25 feet tall with a 35-foot canopy and a four-foot diameter. According to Sauder, it is designed to represent oak trees found throughout northwest Ohio.

“[Architecture firm], Duket Porter Associates were putting the initial plans together and came up with this tree idea,” stated Kim Krieger, Sauder director of marketing. “We liked the idea from the beginning, and [the firm] started doing some homework to see how the design could happen. NatureMaker was at the top of the list of companies that do this kind of work. We went and looked at some trees dig they have created.”

Krieger added that NatureMaker’s design department prepared a scale line drawing of Sauder’s tree then created an intricate substructure made of galvanized steel (to withstand the pool atmosphere). Sculptors, painters, and scenic artists applied an epoxy to create a detailed replication of bark. The bark was then hand carved, hand painted, and scenically aged.

“[NatureMaker] had it fully assembled in California,” Krieger explained, “then they numbered each piece, disassembled the tree, then loaded it into a Sauder woodworking truck and shipped it to northwest Ohio. Some of our maintenance guys reassembled the tree on our property with help from their team.”

The atrium area surrounding the oak tree will be used for guests to lounge and eat breakfast. Additionally, according to Krieger, the old game and exercise rooms will become meeting rooms in order to create additional conference space. The third floor exercise room and a second floor gathering / activity area both overlook the tree.

Rupp / Rosebrock, Inc. is the general contractor and construction management company for the expansion project. According to Perry Rupp, vice president of the firm, the new portion is a masonry structure with precast decks. The original portion of the Inn was constructed more than 12 years ago and included 36 guest rooms and three meeting rooms. The Inn hosts groups such as quilters, rug hookers, family vacationers, and conference and group participants.

According to Rupp, the new rooms and gathering spaces have been designed to complement the look and feel of the current facility. From the outside, the new structure will resemble the original building.

The pool includes soft rock features, seating around its edge, a waterfall, and a hot tub. Free, high-speed Internet access is available in all guest and meeting rooms. The timber-frame Sauder Heritage Inn lobby will continue to be used as a check-in area when the expansion is complete.

The expansion is a way to financially sustain the educational mission of the nonprofit historic village, according to the organization. Eight part-time jobs and one full-time job will be created as a result of the addition.

“We have looked at future opportunities of an outdoor pool as well,” Krieger added. “Plans like that were factored in as we built this current structure. Sauder Village has a 20-year master plan for the entire complex. That is our road map for the future. This is one more project in the big overall master plan to make Sauder Village a real destination here in northwest Ohio.”

Copyright Telex Communications, Inc. Nov 01, 2006

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