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Posted: 9:07 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sugar Valley Golf Club clubhouse to be rebuilt

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Sugar Valley Golf Club clubhouse, Sugarcreek Twp., July 16, 2014 photo
Drew Simon/Staff
Sugar Valley Golf Club clubhouse, Sugarcreek Twp., July 16, 2014

By Drew Simon

Staff Writer

SUGARCREEK TWP. —

Management at Sugar Valley Golf Club promised to rebuild after two fires since May destroyed a historic clubhouse and barn on club property.

Sugarcreek Twp. firefighters were dispatched to the club, 1250 Mead Road, at about 3:15 p.m. Sunday after receiving a 911 call from the golf course.

"My initial thought was, 'Oh no, this can't be happening again,' " Maura Dashewich, operations manager at the golf club., said Wednesday. "Immediately (it) was: how can we come back from this? How can we get the course up and running again?"

The clubhouse fire caused $423,290 in damage to the structure and $285,000 to its contents.

Dashewich said the golf course resumed operations Monday at noon with offices for the business relocated to a secondary building on the property called the 1840 House, which sits about 100 yards from the clubhouse that was destroyed in Sunday's fire.

"It's been very upbeat, very positive in the face of the negativity of what had happened," said Assistant Golf Pro Rick Cramer.

Cramer, who has worked at Sugar Valley since March, said the club is one of the best in the region and Sunday's fire tugged at his emotions.

"In all my years in the area, it was kind of an iconic scene for the golf course," he said. "I never really took it into consideration until it's gone now."

On May 5 flames destroyed a historic barn, along with the club's fleet of 49 gasoline-powered golf carts and golf clubs belonging to some members.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said criminal activity is not suspected in either fire, and investigations into both cases are still open. No cause has been determined.

According to Dashewich, the club had to cancel one overnight reservation at the 1840 House because of the relocation of the golf course's offices. Other events, including the Huesman Heart Open on Thursday and a class reunion this weekend will go on as planned.

Sugar Valley officials said they have purchased a mobile kitchen and air-conditioned mobile restrooms to help accommodate members and visitors. The golf shop was relocated to an existing outbuilding on the Mead Road property.

Members at the club are optimistic about the work ahead for the business.

"Hopefully, they'll maybe make some lemonade out of all these lemons," said Mark Wilson, a Washington Twp. resident who was golfing at the course Wednesday.

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