Donovan Park Pavilion shaping up |

Donovan Park Pavilion shaping up

Geraldine Haldner
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The $3 million Donovan Park Pavilion, located on the lower bench of Donovan Park, south of South Frontage Road in West Vail, is expected to be completed by early August, the general contractor, David Viele, vice president of Viele Construction, said Monday. The lodge-like structure itself, he said, is expected “to be substantially completed” by late-July.

“We are moving along pretty well,” he said.

“We had some delays with building material,” he added, “but the framing crew has been quick to pick up. I expect we’ll be right back on schedule by the end of this week.”

By early March, Viele said, neighbors and passer-byes “will get a really good feeling” for the size and the look of the pavilion.

“That’s when the heavy timber comes in,” he said.

Large timber logs are some of the most prominent features of the rustic, two-room pavilion, modeled loosely after lodges found in national parks.

When ready for use – for everything from wedding parties to Girl Scout cook-outs – the Donovan Park Pavilion will be the first public amenity added to Vail’s infrastructure since the Vail Public Library opened in 1983, and project will likely open to as much fanfare from fans as scrutiny from critics.

After more than 10 months of reviews and discussion, Vail Town Council members discarded a $3.2 million design by San Francisco architect Scott Miller in 2002, saying it was too contemporary and didn’t fit the modest West Vail neighborhood it is located in. Along with design, the council threw out $250,000 in design fees. For the past six months, a task force made up of four council members has been redesigning the pavilion with the goal to make it smaller and rustic in style.

An initial goal to keep the project at $2 million was abandoned when early price estimates came back at closer to $3 million.

Nevertheless, task force members have insisted the new design is a better fit for Vail and will be cheaper to maintain than Miller’s futuristic design, which featured walls of glass.

The task force is expected to present an operational plan for the pavilion to the Town Council next month. The council still must decide who will manage the pavilion.

As for rates, the task force members have released nothing, saying they want discounted rates for locals and nonprofit organizations.

The Eagle-Vail Pavilion charges as much as $750 for a full weekend day and $250 less for charities; Singletree’s neighborhood pavilion is available for $600 to $700 a day on weekends, depending on the type of function; and Eagle Ranch’s new pavilion goes charges $350 for private functions but offers a discount to Eagle residents.

Once unveiled, Vail’s pavilion will be the largest in the area at a maximum capacity of 300.

As for the pavilion’s surroundings, Greg Hall, the town’s director of public works, said the majority of the $9 million park is complete and will be open to the public once the snow has melted.

“We have a construction fence around the pavilion, so the rest of the park can be used,” he said.

Geraldine Haldner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at

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