By Benjamin Gohs
Nearly 60 people attended a recent day of meetings intended to garner opinions on how the Boyne City Veterans Park pavilion could be transformed into a year-round multi-use facility.
Traverse City architect Ray Kendra and Suttons Bay designer Jeff Schwaiger led the “Planning the Pavilion” meeting on Thursday Dec. 12 in Boyne City as part of a three-day planning session.
“The purpose of this whole process was to take public input for a possible location for a winter farmers market but in the process of doing that making it a multi-purpose facility,” Kendra said.
Input was sought from various groups that would potentially use the new pavilion. The user groups included the farmers market, city staff, downtown business owners, pavilion users, neighbors and the general public.
The information will be condensed into three concepts that were expected to be presented at an open house from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 17 at the Boyne District Library.
Attendees were asked what they used the Veterans Park for. Answers included the annual Winterfest event, carnivals, Boyne Thunder, reunions and graduation parties, the farmers market, play groups, picnics, cycling events and other meetings.
Then attendees were asked if there were any activities they would like to see there. Answers included the desire for a band shell or other music venue. There was also concern expressed for a need to be aware of potential encroachment on the open space due to future development of the park.
Attendees were asked what they would like to see included to facilitate wants. Enclosing the pavilion was mentioned as a potential desire. WiFi was another potential desire.
One concern was the amount of wind that comes off the water.
Attendees were asked if they favored a kitchen to be included in the pavilion and to what extent it should be.
Discussions on the kitchen ranged from a basic facility to the potential issues with an extensive commercial kitchen. It was mentioned that, if the kitchen was not rate for commercial use, food prepared there could not be sold.
One person asked if there would be an “open air feel” to the pavilion in the summer.
Attendees were asked if they thought it should be heated. One person asked if skylights would help heat the facility.
One attendee said a new pavilion should be transparent to open the view.
Another attendee said she would like to see the pavilion situated differently so it would face the road.
One person said the pavilion should be move toward the lake on the other side of the play structure to create more open space.
One attendee said it is “very powerful” to hold events downtown with the effect that it has for downtown businesses.
Attendees were asked for their feelings on the pavilion’s fireplace.
Opinions included that its central location does not seem to be the best location. One person said they simply do not like the fire place.
Look for the results of the planning sessions—to be presented this week—in the Dec. 25 edition of the Boyne City Gazette.