Community Pavilion Nears Completion

Community Pavilion Nears CompletionBy Kristina Powers Aubry, former vice-chair of the Vicksburg Historical Society

Work on the Community Pavilion is nearly finished with the standing-seam metal roofing being put in place.  The original plan had the roofing materials and electrical installations finished sometime around Thanksgiving.  All other work was finished but the heavy-duty steel material was late in arriving due to manufacturing difficulties.  Now the roofers are working in between snow storms and cold weather to get the attractive and functional roof in place.

Discussions during the planning stage of the project included the positive and negatives of putting a colored roof as opposed to the unpainted silver color.  The silver would match the roof of the Village Garage and the Farmstead Barn in the Historic Village, both of which can be seen from the pavilion.  One look at the deep green metal being put on the structure has reinforced the selection as the perfect color, according to members of the planning committee.  “The green brings out the character of the wood used in the pavilion,” commented Margaret Kerchief, past-president of the Vicksburg Historical Society and one of the chief project overseers.  “I wasn’t sure at first, but now I certain that this was the right decision.”

Once the roof is on the building, the final chore will be for Dan Oswalt of Oswalt Electric, to finish installing the electrical service from the base of the posts to the ceiling and installing the light fixtures. The electrical design was based on the needs for general use and the specific needs of both the Lions Club for their Summer Festival and the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market.  Once the wiring is finished and the light fixtures have been put in place, the Vicksburg Community Pavilion will be ready for users in the spring.

One final piece of business is to raise the last $15,000 needed to complete the work. So many people have made contributions to the project since it began over two years ago.  By an actual count, over 700 individuals, families and businesses from all over the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America and Australia have played a part in constructing the pavilion this far with both cash and in-kind donations.  The Vicksburg Foundation supported in the amount of $163,000, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation for $10,000 and individual donations totaling $97,000. Additional donations of materials, consultations and services totaling an estimated $100,000 have been critical to bring this outstanding project so close to the finale.

Representatives from Portland, MI visit the Vicksburg pavilion construction site in January to learn all about building a similar structure in their community from Kristina Powers Aubry.
Representatives from Portland, MI visit the Vicksburg pavilion construction site in January to learn all about building a similar structure in their community from Kristina Powers Aubry.

Now, the Historical Society hopes area citizens will take up the challenge to ‘Finish the Pavilion.’  “Every donation we receive will bring us closer to raising every last cent we need to do it right,” said Bob Smith, new president of the Vicksburg Historical Society.  “We hope that everyone who hears of the need for the last few dollars will look at it as an opportunity to put their name in the history of this outstanding project.”  For information on benefits of donations of more than $500, contact the Historical Society at 649-1733. Tax-deductible contributions should be marked Pavilion Project and sent to:  The Pavilion Project, Vicksburg Historical Society, 300 North Richardson Street, Vicksburg MI  49097. The Vicksburg Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  With the last bit of help the Vicksburg Community Pavilion will be ready to be the site of many grand events as soon as the weather breaks, Smith reinterated.

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