In a presentation Monday morning, members of the Pack Square Conservancy said they have redesigned the site once reserved for a $2.5 million pavilion. Citing budget and time concerns, conservancy board Chairman Guy Clerici said the Rueter Terrace on the north side of the park has been redesigned to omit the 4,200 square foot pavilion. The conservancy board instead opted for a grassy area and information kiosk.
The conservancy did not yet have the $2 million in hand it wanted before starting construction on the pavilion, Clerici told a group that included several Buncombe County commissioners and Mayor Terry Bellamy. And with the conservancy shooting for a spring opening for the park, time is running out.
“We want to do it before everything dries up and the birds come out,” Clerici said. “We want to have everything buttoned up by spring.”
The new design features trees surrounding a grassy area with an information kiosk on one side. The space, Clerici said, would be big enough for a special event tent and could serve as a place-holder if the city decides to build a pavilion in the future.
Clerici told Xpress that donors who pledged money for the park had been contacted about the change and had registered their approval, and that the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority will vote Wednesday on whether to continue its $500,000 matching grant in light of the change.
The construction of the pavilion has been a question mark since the beginning of Pack Square Park. Construction was originally anticipated to begin in 2008, but in December of that year its future looked bleak as conservancy members noted delays and funding problems. Last January, the conservancy voted to keep the pavilion in the park’s plans, but delayed construction to allow for more time for fundraising.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer