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By Carmen Ensinger
Greene Prairie Press
When Roodhouse Police Chief Kyle Robison sees the need for something in the community – he makes it become a reality. The new pavilion going up in the Roodhouse Square is proof of this.
Construction of the 20’x24’ pavilion began last week with the work being done by city crews.
Robison explained how the pavilion project came to fruition.
“We were sitting in the park and it was a hot and sunny day and there were literally no placed to sit down in the shade,” he said. “There was a bunch of moms talking and together we were discussing how it would be nice to have some shade in the park and the next thing you know we were discussion having a pavilion here in the park and we took off and ran with it.”
If one is not from Roodhouse they might be thinking why all of a sudden the sun is a problem.
“We lost several big trees that provided a lot of shade here in the park in the last two years,” Robison said. “Two of them in the last year alone. One of them was struck by lightning and the other was brought down by high winds.”
The new pavilion is going up right across from where one of those big trees came down.
“It is going in on the west side of the sidewalk across from the Burrus Drugs store front and directly across from the largest tree in the park,” Robison said. “There was a total of five trees planted in the park this year and there might be a few more by the time we are done.”
But of course, it will take time for those new trees to mature enough to provide shade, so, in the meantime, the pavilion will provide that needed shade.
“This will allow parents and grandparents to sit and watch their children and grandchildren play in the park,” Robison said. “It will also allow people who get food from Joe’s Pizza or the Ice Cream Depot to have a place to eat because we plan to have several picnic tables in there as well.”
Funding for the project is coming from the Police Department Youth Fund.
“We had four primary donors – Killion Communications, Chapmans, Ice Cream Depot and Page Family Farms,” Robison said. “They were our main donors, but the rest of the money came from our Youth fund which is raised from private donations.”
Robison said it is things like the pavilion that lets donors see where their donations are going.
“I think it’s pretty cool when are able to see your donations at work,” Robison said. “If you made a donation to our Youth Fund, you are seeing the money you donated going into something specifically aimed at our youth and our parks and I think its great. It’s not like your tax dollars when you don’t see where they are going – you can see how your money is being used when you donate to our Youth Fund.”
Estimated cost, including a concrete pad is between $6-$8,000, which Robison said is slightly less than was first quoted.
“Originally, it was supposed to be $8,700, but that was when boards were $52 a sheet and the price has gone down so it gives us a few more options,” Robison said. “We are now going to be able to get electricity to it. So, not only will there be a shelter, but we will also have electricity and lighting inside there.”
Robison said they hope to have the pavilion completed in time for Christmas in the Park, which is always the day after Thanksgiving.
“That is our goal, but I’m hoping to have it done in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We have all of the guys from the South Shop and the Electric Department working on it. Barring a big water main break or a big storm, we should have it done because all of the guys are doing a good job working together on it.”