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A pavilion to truly fit park

Diana Donovan

Last January, the Vail Town Council took a bold step and redirected efforts on a pavilion that we viewed to be too expensive, not responsive to the public input and inappropriate in its architectural style. In addition, substantial cuts in the proposal had produced a building that was no longer functional or attractive to its supporters.

At that point, four council members – Chuck Ogilby, Rod Slifer, Dick Cleveland and Diana Donovan – formed a committee to investigate an appropriate building to house a community center for Vail.

We have been working hard to come up with a building the community can be proud of for generations to come yet have low operational and maintenance costs.



Foremost has been to have a building that serves the needs identified at the public input sessions held in early 2000. Some of the events and activities the building will handle are potlucks and weddings, Boy Scout meetings and town meetings, memorials and celebrations, the Adventure Series and non-profit meetings, dance, yoga and karate, if they don’t require specialized equipment, and gatherings of every kind.

It will have a wonderful terrace with a view of the creek and the aspen hillside above. It will be built of wood and stone. It will be warm and inviting and look like it belongs in Donovan Park.



The total building square footage for the new proposal is approximately 5,200 square feet, or 1,600 square feet smaller than the last plan. The main room will be about 3,080 square feet, which is essentially the same size as previously. Included in that calculation is an area of about 430 square feet that can be used as a smaller, separate meeting area.

This building has a versatile, functional kitchen that will work for a catered wedding or an after soccer potluck.

The terrace is about 3,380 square feet, or 730 square feet larger than the previous design, and includes permanent anchors for a tent so the space is even more versatile.



One of our goals is to take every advantage of the outdoor environment. The facility will handle 205 people seated at tables indoors or 299 seated for a lecture. An additional 150 people can be seated at tables outdoors.

Not a square foot is wasted, as great care has been taken to have a totally functional facility. The committee decided to put more money into the project so that operating, repairs and maintenance costs will be lowered and save money in the long run.

Examples of this are motion-sensing faucets, the building materials and easily cleanable surfaces and floors. Even with all this, we hope to save substantial dollar amounts over the last proposal.

Both the total cost and the square footage costs will be considerably reduced from the previous proposal.

The pavilion will be completed by next summer and provide the final piece of our parks master plan. With the Donovan Park Pavilion and Park about to become a reality, the council will focus its attention on other town of Vail infrastructure needs.

We are proud of our efforts and would like to formally share the results at an open house in the Vail Municipal Building this Tuesday, July 16, from 6 to 7 in the evening.

A short, formal presentation to the council will immediately follow. Please come and share our excitement for a true community pavilion and envision how it will become a part of your life as a Vail resident, property owner or visitor

Diana Donovan, a Vail town councilwoman, writes on behalf of the pavilion committee.


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