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City of Parma starts demolition of Ridgewood Golf Course Clubhouse

3/30/2022 5:02:00 PM

Built in 1925, Parma’s Ridgewood Golf Course Clubhouse is coming down. At 9 a.m., Monday, March 21, the city is holding a demolition event for the public to attend at 6505 Ridge Road, Parma. Spectators can watch construction equipment knock down the first wall from the upper parking lot and should park in the lower lot. The old structure is now closed, and no access is allowed for anyone.

“It’s something that’s been needed for a really long time,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “We’re excited about this new chapter for Ridgewood Clubhouse and our city. We wanted to pause and recognize the clubhouse’s history by holding a ceremony and inviting elected county and city officials, our golfers and golf leagues, and members of the public.”

Golfers, golf leagues and community groups have used the facility for decades, but the structure has reached the point that repairs will no longer suffice and new construction is required. Cuyahoga County is providing $175,000 from its Community Development Fund, which is tied to gross casino revenues distributed to the county, and Cuyahoga Land Bank is adding $50,000 to cover demolition costs.

“I know how important Ridgewood Golf Course is to the City of Parma and neighboring communities in Cuyahoga County. For nearly 100 years, it has served as a recreational center of activity for the community. It also brings in revenue for the City of Parma,” said Cuyahoga County Councilman Scott Tuma. “The demolition of the clubhouse will be a significant first step in allowing city officials to move forward with their vision for designing and building a new facility that will also serve as a community center for all of our residents, all while driving economic success in the process.”

What city leaders envision for the new facility will be far different from the current building. “We respect the rich history of Ridgewood Golf Course, however, we are excited to offer to our golfers and non-golfers an event center that can be utilized 12 months a year,” said Parks and Recreation Director Mickey Vittardi.

An event center would go beyond a traditional clubhouse and host wedding receptions, banquets, large parties, as well as golf outings – providing access to people who don’t golf but want to take advantage of the beautiful golf course view and its central location in the city.

Although the clubhouse will be gone, golfers this season will be able to play the course, which will remain open. Golf course staff will operate from a triple-wide trailer. “We hope to provide the same level of service as prior years. The pavilion will also remain open,” said Golf Course Manager and PGA Pro Dave Chuba.

There is no date yet for new construction. The city is in the process of sending out requests for quotes from architects and finding additional funding sources, which includes the city going back to the county for economic development money to help cover the cost of a new facility.

“Hopefully, sometime at the end of two years, we can start construction on the new facility, but we know it’s going to take some time,” DeGeeter said.