Pack Square Conservancy scratches pavilion for park

Pack Square Conservancy scratches pavilion for park-attachment0

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

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5 thoughts on “Pack Square Conservancy scratches pavilion for park

  1. James Fisher

    Seems prudent. And downtown is very short on open grassy spaces. Looking forward to the entire space getting open this Spring!

  2. hauntedheadnc

    There was never a real need for a pavilion, and I found it kind of insulting how they kept bragging about how the information desk in the pavilion was going to be one of the big artworks of the park. Frankly, there are more than enough places already for tourists to go and get their behinds kissed with tongue, just the way they like it. We didn’t need another one, especially when it cost this much. Even though there are already more trees in the new park than there were in the old, you can’t have too many trees in a park, and in this case grass and trees are a better use for the land.

  3. Paul -V-

    More grassy area? Great! I see no downside. We didn’t need the pavilion anyways.

  4. dubbs

    It definitely seems prudent to scrap the pavilion for now. But I was looking forward to having a permanent stage structure for concerts and performances. I think it would be a real asset for the city and would really set us apart. I wasn’t that happy about the bathrooms and the tourist kiosk, though, so maybe it’s for the best.

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