Concert pavilion construction to begin
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Madison Downtown Development Association members have let the contract to construct the event pavilion at the city’s new town park, and work on that structure—to be built by Rendrag Construction—is expected to start within the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, work on the cottage and the infrastructure of the park continues, and the centerpiece fountain will be installed within about 30 days or so.
“We’ve been catching some rain days, and nobody wants to complain about that,” said city planning director Monica Callahan. “But we’re moving forward toward our December completion date.”
Callahan said that the lights for the new park have already arrived and have been stored in town awaiting installation; the brick for the pavements has been made and is in Athens ready for pick up. A bid for the cast-iron fence that will surround the park should be in hand by the end of next week.
“You’ll start to see the visual things in the park go up, which is what people want to see,” said Callahan.
The DDA has a $1.5 million line of credit with the Bank of Madison to complete the park, but would like to see that total kept to closer to $1.2 million, or perhaps even less than that if the group receives an important OneGeorgia grant for the completion of the pavilion.
The DDA has pre-applied for $300,000 in state tobacco settlement monies for the completion of the pavilion event center. If that grant comes through, the park could in theory be completed for less than one million in outstanding funds.
Although a “plan B” will be in readiness, the city is already planning to hold the first events in the new park in early December, in advance of the city’s 2009 Bicentennial.
“We’ll know more [about the final schedule] in 30 days,” said Callahan.
DDA members are pleased to see the light at the end of the construction tunnel, and looking forward to having events—some of which may be private affairs, the fees for which will pay off the park’s note—taking place in the city’s newest venue.
“It’s going to be a premier facility, the top of the line,” said DDA member Clifton Hanes. “Nobody around here will have anything like this.”