Changes to pavilion plans spark controversy

Changes to pavilion plans spark controversy

The pavilion in the heart of Riverfront Park will soon undergo a major facelift.

Designers are proposing several concepts for the pavilion, none of which include covering the structure.

When voters approved the $64 million dollar park bond to renovate Riverfront Park, the master plan included language indicating the structure would be covered.

“The design team, the initial proposal that they’ve come up with don’t have a covering on the pavilion,” said Leroy Eadie, City of Spokane Parks and Rec Director.

“One of their big challenges is to come up with a wow factor in their design, something that really activates and gets folks excited about the pavilion,” said Eadie.

Mike Allen, a former park board member and city council member, said the preliminary designs are not what the voters wanted when they approved the bond.

“The concept was, it’s about creating a community lantern,” said Mike Allen, former park board member.

“The original concept is that we would recover it and use it as a giant screen for our community, similar to the Sydney Opera House,” said Allen.

Eadie said lighting is still a top priority.

“That’s something our design team is very much focused on: light projection and lighting in general. They are just looking at alternatives other than projecting that onto a roof structure as a way to get through the design process,” said Eadie.
The park board will meet on Thursday to look at the preliminary designs.

If board members like the direction of the design, they will vote to change the master plan.

Allen said he wants the community to weigh in on the design process.

“I’m more concerned with what the process is and that we get a value and a big idea that sets us apart. That doesn’t set us apart to be frank with you. It’s like we’ve taken this big idea and made it smaller and smaller and it’s like we’re getting what we have now,” said Allen.

The design team has 120 days to come up with plan to be approved by the board.

The park board will be addressing this issue on Thursday, June 8th at 1:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Spokane City Hall.