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Historic pavilion expected to be finished in April

POSTED: March 12, 2013 12:31 p.m.

Hall County Corrections inmates continue work on the American Legion's Chattahoochee Park Pavilion on Lake Lanier. Renovation on the historic structure is expected to be done by April 15.

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An April 15 completion is projected on the restoration of the historic Chattahoochee Park Pavilion off Lake Lanier in Gainesville.

Exterior painting, roofing and structural work is largely finished on the wooden, open-air building, with work being done Monday on the cupola.

“They’ve (also) put the benches back in,” said Dave Dellinger, commander of the American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 on Riverside Drive, where the pavilion is located.

"To finish up, they’ve got to do a little bit more staining (work) inside,” he said.

“Under each of the posts, they’ve put up a big, steel pillar that’s (anchored in concrete) ... and they’re going to brick around that. We’re trying to get some bricks donated, if we can, to finish that up.”

For the most part, money has been exhausted on the project, Dellinger said.

Gainesville City Council voted last July to spend $25,000 for building materials to restore the pavilion, which was originally part of an amusement park, Chattahoochee Park, built on the banks of what was then Lake Warner.

In return, the post agreed to allow the city to use the building to promote tourism and to conduct public safety training exercises for a 10-year period.

For the last few months, prison crews from the Hall County Correctional Institute have been working to restore and repair the pavilion.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, included the aging pavilion in its 2012 list of the state’s top 10 “Places in Peril.”

“The pavilion has a large amount of rotting timbers that are in need of repair and replacing,” states the Georgia Trust website in its report on the property.

Rusty Ligon, Gainesville’s community development director, has said “the city is looking forward to the project’s completion, as this historic resource will be a great asset for the community.”

Dellinger said some materials remain to reroof a covered picnic area, “but no more than that.

“It’s been proposed to see if one of the (area Boy) Scouts would like to finish that up as an Eagle (Scout) project. That would be pretty neat.”

When the project is completed, “we sure would like to have some kind of housewarming,” Dellinger said.

He has said the facility eventually could be available to rent for weddings, picnics and events.


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