To enclose or not to enclose, that was the question. Closing up the north and/or south ends of the community pavilion could save the timber framed structure from water damage over the years ahead. The Vicksburg Village Council weighed the merits of the idea during a long discussion at its August meeting.
After construction was completed in 2013, the Historical Society turned ownership of the pavilion over to the village in January 2014. At the time, a concern was voiced by John Polacek, a Lions Club member and one of the volunteer crew members who helped build it. He had great plans to protect the structure’s joinery from water damage. He presented a drawing that called for capping the ends with vertical siding, cut from tulip poplar trees last fall. He did not want to sentence the structure to a slow, inevitable rot from the inside out. These steps were highly recommended by Kalamazoo engineer/designer Tom Nehil, a member of the Timber Framers Guild (TFG) who helped with its construction last September.
Village council member Chris Newman, the original designer of the structure and a TFG member, objected to covering the ends, due to the visual affect it would have. He cited examples from old English barns that have stood the test of time and many of the TFG buildings that have never been encapsulated. “There are products that can be applied to seal the joinery or you can install flashing to protect it from water damage,” he said.
Ken Schippers, village manager agreed with Polacek and the Historic Village Committee’s recommendation to go with the siding, but when it came to a vote of the council members there were five no votes and two yes, so the issue was tabled, at least for the time being.