GRANGEVILLE – A new location is approved, and plans can move ahead.
With a city-approved site at the southeast corner of Pioneer Park, proponents for a proposed band performance pavilion can move forward on architectural work to estimate total costs and determine how much more they have to raise.
Right now, the group’s initial estimate of around $65,000 for structure completion is short, conservatively, by at least $100,000 and up, with those additional costs driven by the work necessitated for required ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessways and off-street parking to the pavilion.
As detailed at the Monday, Nov. 18, Grangeville City Council meeting, councilors were presented with two proposed locations for the pavilion – one along South First Street at the southwest corner of the pool, and the other at the corner of South First and Florence streets where a baseball backstop is currently located. Public works director Bob Mager was pointed in his advice to the council that the corner location was the best option.
“What I’m telling you is what public works has been thinking since this thing started. Is this the best location? No. But, it’s the best location for Pioneer Park,” he said.
Several factors were against the location adjacent to the pool, such as elevations that would require backfill and significant cement work, and installation of a two-to-three-foot tall stem wall to meet ADA requirements. A structure at this location could cause water runoff issues for the adjacent pool, would require removal of several trees, and it would block the vision for adults parked outside watching and waiting for their kids at the pool.
In contrast, the corner location would require minimal disturbance to the park and require less expensive work related to ADA. Situating the pavilion here would direct performance noise away from the adjacent residential area, it would still allow for open green space for activity, and it would spread activity over the entire park.
The location issue has been a problem for the pavilion committee, in holding up architectural design for the structure, according to coordinator Todd Marek, as has the city backing out of the effort, he said, due to associated ADA costs that may look to tack between $100,000 to $200,000 more onto the group’s fund-raising.
“Our group is fine either way,” Marek said, with the two locations under consideration. “We don’t want to increase our costs anymore. We already have a lot more money we’ve got to raise at this point.”
Mager explained that evening’s discussion was driven by the committee that contacted him about the corner location as an alternative to help efforts resume.
“We told you up front,” clarified councilor Beryl Grant, “you had to figure ADA into your price. We couldn’t accept anything given to the city not ADA [compliant]. We’ve talked ADA from day one.”
Mayor Wes Lester explained the city, at the start, pledged $30,000 out of funds from the Webb account (monies donated in 2012 from the Orrin and Eleanora Webb estate), but their further efforts stopped when estimates came in at nearly $300,000 to conduct ADA-required work for parking, and to reshape elevations to meet grade for access.
“We stopped because we can’t afford it,” Lester said.
Marek said the group has raised $35,000 in cash, with potential for $10,000 to $20,000 more, and had tentatively lined up donations of materials and professionally licensed labor.
The pavilion effort has put on hold city plans for installing new ADA sidewalks on South First Street at Pioneer Park, of which currently these are deteriorated and not of compliant widths. That work will entail removal of trees along that route, and, as Mager explained, those walks will have to move further into the park due to underground electric infrastructure put in for tree lighting at Christmas.
“There’s no reason to put in a new sidewalk if we’re going to have to tear half out to put in ADA parking,” Lester said, as would be necessitated with pavilion installation.
While the location decision helps organizers better plan their fund-raising and design work from here forward, this spot met with resistance by resident Krista Miller who lives just across the street.
“I am totally for the music pavilion, and I love bringing new stuff to our community,” she said. However, the pavilion would block her view of the park, and removal of the backstop would affect kids – hers included – who play at the park, she said, more than 200 days out of the year. Lester agreed with usage, noting during the summer he sees kids playing on that corner every night.
“There’s a downside to everything,” he said. “It’s not a perfect spot.”
Private planning and fund-raising efforts began in 2017 to develop a band shell structure at Pioneer Park for public performances and presentations. Until this location change, the last publicly stated plan was to construct it next to the existing Soroptimist Pavilion, which was to have been retained and shifted to accommodate the structure.