Bathrooms, stage would replace gazebo
A new plan to combine park restrooms with a stage that would also include a memorial wall as a backdrop was discussed by Pride Committee members on Thursday at Marion City Library when City Administrator Roger Holter visited.
If approved by city officials, the finished structure would be behind where the current gazebo now stands, Holter said. The gazebo would be removed, allowing the stage and memorial wall to become a focal point of the park.
“The wall would isolate the restrooms so they cannot be seen from the street,” Holter said. “The stage would become a multiuse venue for the community. It could be an amazing place for summer weddings, Friday night concerts, and a natural Old Settlers Day rally point.”
He said the memorial wall could be composed of limestone blocks and include a central facing stone.
“We are considering putting a chief in the center like the one that is on the Sports and Aquatic Center,” Holter said. “We are also considering selling memorial blocks or a walkway of personalized bricks like what was done with the playground as a way to raise money for the project.”
The stage would be constructed at a height under 30 inches so that no railing would need to be installed. There are also plans to build a handicapped accessible ramp up to the performance surface.
Holter also wants to run 480 volts of power to the back of the stage that he said might also eliminate the need for one and possibly both of the generators used for traveling acts at Chingawassa Days.
The stage could also include a modular rigging system for sound and lights so that the area can remain adaptable to many types of events. Holter said the system could either be purchased as part of the stage or rented as the need arose.
Estimated cost for the project is $100,000. However, Holter has spoken to possible donors and the final cost he expects to have to raise is a little less than half that much.
“I think people will be more likely to give to this project because of the stage and everything,” Pride member Sally Hannaford said. “It just looks extraordinary.”
Pride member Karen Regnier asked about the sewage lines.
Holter said that the bathrooms will have a two-inch grinder pump and sewage for the structure would tie into existing lines. Plans for the bathrooms include porcelain sink and toilet fixtures as well as a gas heater that will allow for year-round use of the facility.
Plans for the exterior of the restrooms also include two mural panels on each side.
“Classes celebrating their 10, 20, 30, and 40-year reunions might also be responsible for the mural for the year in order help maintain community involvement,” Holter said. “It would also add to the restrooms ambiance.”
Pride member Margaret Wilson also wanted to know how the project might affect park trees.
“No trees or foliage will be disturbed,” Holter said. “Neither will any of the existing park features or microenvironments.”
If brought to fruition and approved by the city, the physical construction estimates of the project are between 120 and 180 days depending on weather.