Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ingalls pavilion more than halfway built

Project manager: Completion expected by Oct. 20
By Ronnie Thomas Staff Writer at The Decatur Daily

Daily photo by Brennen SmithConstruction is under way on the pavilion at Ingalls Harbor. The project should be completed by Oct. 20, the project’s manager said.

Decatur’s multi-purpose pavilion at Ingalls Harbor is about 60 percent complete and should be finished by Oct. 20, the project’s manager said last week.

“It’s a pretty complicated building with different kinds of structural elements going in, pre-engineered structural steel and wood framing,” said Marty Blackwood of Fite Building Co., the project manager. “We had some weather delays, but we’re looking at the fall completion.”

That’s good news to Tom Chappell, assistant director of the Decatur Parks and Recreation Department, and Tami Reist, president of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Parks and Recreation Department will oversee the pavilion’s maintenance and upkeep, and, in close conjunction with Reist’s group, the booking of events. Major attractions await.

For example, Chappell said Decatur has a year remaining on its contract for the NAIA soccer championships at the Jack Allen Recreation Complex.

“We’re hoping to host the opening ceremonies at the pavilion in November,” Chappell said. “But we’re planning for an alternate site just in case everything isn’t ready.”

Reist said the Decatur General Hospital Foundation will utilize the 27,000-square foot pavilion for its 27th annual gala fundraiser in December.

On the horizon, she said, is the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association National Conference, which the Decatur Police Department will host. The group is planning a barbecue at the pavilion April 24.

Blackwood described the massive fireplaces with their 52-foot tall chimneys at each end of the 1,200-seat pavilion as “pretty monumental” in gauging progress.

“They’re basically complete and a good milestone on the project,” he said.

Aderholt Masonry of Russellville built the tapered-chimney fireplaces with Alabama brownstone from a quarry in Oneonta. The wood-burning fireplaces, which will have gas starters, are 10 feet long and eight feet wide at the base.

“We lack setting the caps on top, building the hearths and putting the fire brick on the inside,” said Ray Aderholt, owner of the company. “We’re finalizing them now.”

The fireplace facing west toward a 58-by-80 patio consists of interior and exterior hearths.

“We’ve already started the rest of the stonework on the building, which includes an entrance way that is 7 feet, 4 inches tall,” Aderholt said. “We’ve also started the interior columns and have done some work on the perimeter, which will consist of a 1-foot, 4-inch tall wall. The last thing we’ll do is the patio.”

Fite’s Tom Glenn, superintendent on the project, said the only real wood used in the pavilion is the timber framing and decking on the front and back porches.

Workers reclaimed the timber during the demolition of the more than century-old Bailey-Robinson Building.

“The back porch is pretty much finished, and we’re erecting the timber columns and beams on the front porch,” Glenn said Friday.

He said workers have completed covering half the roof of the pavilion with steel decking.

“The walls on three sides will be composed of garage-type, overhead roll-up doors,” Glenn said. “The back side is made of hardy board siding.”

Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said the pavilion will be a good tourist draw “just like the regional bass tournaments out there” at Wheeler Lake. “Next year, they’ll have a place to hold a reception.”

On Jan. 25, the commission approved the city of Decatur borrowing $1.6 million toward pavilion construction from the Regional Landfill reserve fund. Site work began the next day.

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