SPOKANE, Wash. - The park board has approved the pavilion construction project following controversy earlier this year when it was announced there would not be a permanent covering on the structure. Developers believe they have found a solution.
The pavilion has been a staple of Spokane since Expo '74, but it's going to be getting a new look. Last week, the park board approved the $16.5 million pavilion project, which is part of the voter approved park bond.
"Everything people know of the Pavilion, the crown up top, all of the cabling, and the ring around... the concrete ring around the Pavilion and the west admin building, all of those stay," said Leroy Eadie, the director of Spokane Parks And Recreation.
The project ran into some controversy earlier this year though. Originally, in the master plan, there were plans to build a permanent covering for the pavilion. However, developers later announced that covering wouldn't be feasible.
"How can you just say something that was promised, explicitly, not just on the side maybe we'll cover it, it was word for word we'll cover the pavilion. How can we throw that out?" City Council President Ben Stuckart had questioned when asked about the controversy in July.
So, developers looked for a new solution. The project is now going to include triangular panels, which can be removed when needed.
"They've been working hard over the last couple months, coming up with the right type of shade design that gave us the ability to take down the shade structure when we don't want it," Eadie said.
The park believes this will address concerns from the public without changing the project's budget.
"I think we really resolved the biggest issue folks had was really having nice shade cover when we have a large event, so if it's a 90 degree summer day, you're not standing out there in the hot sun," Eadie said.
The city is planning to begin demolition next month on the covering of the old Ice Palace, the IMAX building and the building that housed the Spokane Story. The new pavilion is expected to open in May 2019.
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