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Portage pavilion design revision trims facility cost

March 8, 2019

Representatives of the Portage Service Club Association on Tuesday presented the Portage Parks and Recreation Board with what they see as an improved, and less expensive, design for a new performance pavilion at Pauquette Park.

The panel unanimously approved forwarding the design to the city’s Plan Commission, which is scheduled to meet March 18.

The original cost estimate had been about $315,000.

But a new estimate for the updated design, from the Portage-based General Engineering Company, puts the total cost at about $274,637.

Marianne Hanson, executive director of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the service club organization, said one of the main reasons for the design change was to ensure that materials for the open-air structure could be procured locally or very close to Portage, instead of having to bring in construction “kits” from out of state.

Dan Kremer, parks and recreation manager, said the new design has a straighter roof than the previous design, and it’s been moved back from the edge of the Pauquette Park pond, to a little more than 18 feet away from the water.

The project would go out for bids, Kremer said, and bidders could not be obligated to procure materials locally. But having that option available is a plus, he said.

One of the two renderings of the design concept, included in the informational packet for the board’s meeting, shows the structure can be used as a shelter when it’s not being used as a venue for performances by groups such as the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

Kremer said the design change for the pavilion also addresses concerns about accessibility to the structure, in that it would be partly built into the land’s natural contours, resulting in no need for a ramp.

A memorandum of understanding between the city and the service clubs organization calls for the organization to pay the full cost of constructing the facility through private donations.

That understanding has been tweaked slightly, since Kremer recently learned of the availability of grant programs through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which would make money available for multi-use trails in and around Pauquette Park if a local match is available. Leaders believe the addition of accessible restrooms to the park would make up a majority of that match.

The cost for the trail alone was estimated at $84,000, including an asphalt surface trail 8 feet wide, with gravel shoulders 2 feet wide. The local share would be about half that, or $42,000, Kremer said.

All told, he said, the project’s cost would run about $358,000.

To qualify for the grants, the project has to be incorporated into the city’s comprehensive outdoor recreation plan, which will be updated soon, Kremer said.