Canton Repository

July 11, 2002

Regula seeks million for old Bow building building money 

By PAUL M. KRAWZAK
Copley Washington correspondent

WASHINGTON — The Frank T. Bow Federal Building in Canton has a good chance of getting $1 million in federal money next year for
its continuing renovation.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, put $1 million for the building into a spending bill approved by the House
Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

Once a post office, the 69-year-old structure houses federal bankruptcy court and other federal agencies. Among possible
improvements is making the vacant second floor accessible to the disabled, as required by federal law.

Regula expressed optimism that Congress would approve the funding.

The $1 million would be on top of $500,000 that Regula put into a spending bill last year for the building. In recent years, the
government has spent $175,000 to clean up Depression-era murals on the building and on other rehabilitation.

Regula referred questions about progress on the structure to the General Services Administration, a federal agency that maintains
public property.

General Services Administration spokesman David Wilkinson was unable to find out immediately whether any of the $500,000 has
been spent at the Bow building. He also did not know what the $1 million would be used for.

But Wilkinson said a government study last year concluded it would be cheaper to move federal offices in the Bow building into
leased space than to renovate the Bow building. “That study was put aside,” he said, adding that he did not know why it was put
aside.

Regula managed to earmark federal money for the building because of his clout as a longtime member of the House Appropriations
Committee. The committee plays a major role in deciding which projects the government spends money on.

In the future, the Bow building could remain a federal facility or be given to the city of Canton.

Regula said the “best way to go” would be to give the building to the city in exchange for land on which the government would
construct a new federal building. 

“That’s a possibility,” he said. The city could use the extra space provided by the Bow building for courts or other facilities, he added.
“I think a million and a half would do a pretty good job of rehabilitating it,” he said.

The General Services Administration is studying the possibility of constructing a new federal building in Canton, but Wilkinson said a
new structure would be “an alternative to renovating the present building. We’re at a very preliminary phase in that” study, he said.