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Keep pavilion in park: City council hears from Grangeville Horizons

Informal public opinions vary on structure

Built in 1986, the Soroptimist Pavilion in Grangeville’s Pioneer Park stands near the location for a proposed band shell.

Photo by David Rauzi
Built in 1986, the Soroptimist Pavilion in Grangeville’s Pioneer Park stands near the location for a proposed band shell.

— The Soroptimists Pavilion should stay in Pioneer Park.

That’s the opinion of the Grangeville Horizons Committee, representatives of which were at Monday’s Dec. 18 Grangeville City Council meeting to advocate keeping the 31-year-old park shelter in conjunction with private plans to construct a band shell.

Grangeville Horizons is responsible for annual holiday decorating of Pioneer Park and has raised funds for lighting and related underground infrastructure.

“We know it is used a lot,” said committee representative Cathy Wassmuth, for events and gatherings throughout the year. For when the band shell is completed, she said this could function, for example, as a preparation area for performers. For other area communities with band shells – Riggins, Nezperce and Craigmont – each one has a pavilion in connection with it.

Committee member Terra Hill said their hope was to place an infrared heater in the pavilion, and use this as a warming station and to provide concessions during tree lighting and winter events. Both she and Wassmuth said it has a multipurpose use, and Hill added as far as pavilion aesthetics, it could be modified to complement the band shell design. Tear it down, Wassmuth said, and in three to five years you’ll have the public requesting a new one be built.

“Grangeville Horizons is against moving the pavilion out of the park,” Wassmuth said.

For the past year, volunteers through Grangeville Arts have been working to establish a band shell structure at the park, a project estimated between $60,000 to $65,000, a multi-use building to be used primarily for public performances and presentations. Last month, the city authorized up to $30,000 toward the project, which organizers hope to break ground on – pending securing funding — in 2018.

The pavilion’s future was discussed as part of last month’s council discussion, but no determination was made.

“I’d sure like to keep it,” commented Councilor Pete Lane, on the pavilion’s good public usage, especially as a shady place during the summer.

Wassmuth said an informal survey she conducted that day, all were in favor of keeping the pavilion. Councilor Beryl Grant said comments she had received were the opposite:

“Most of the people I talked to said to take it out. They don’t want the park cluttered up,” Grant said. “They love the park, but not so many structures.” That concern for open green space was echoed by councilor and mayor-elect Wes Lester, on future requests for more structures, and that this is primarily a park.

“Leave the pavilion,” said Mayor Bruce Walker. He was optimistic modifications could help it complement the band shell, but he also mentioned public concern the new structure, while designed as multipurpose, may not best suited for use such as for picnics. “If it works, great. If they complement each other, great. If it doesn’t work anymore, tear it down. What do we really have to lose?”


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