Mill Creek Pavilion Taking Shape

Oct 17, 2018

When all is said and done, the new Mill Creek Pavilion will have been built for less than $125,000, thanks to the skills and hard work of the town’s own employees in the water-sewer and public works departments. Estimates from outside contractors were upwards of $400,000, according to Township Administrator James Moran.

A visit to the job site this week revealed a partially built, 44-by-66-foot pavilion with a metal roof and wood trusses atop 14 pilings. Additional pilings were installed underground, Moran said, to ensure a well-supported concrete floor and to prevent sinking. Hard-packed dirt was laid in preparation for the concrete to be poured next week. The plumber was expected this week to install bathrooms, and then there will be framing and finishing work to do.

A core group of workers – Rich Conklin, Mike Stankus, Howard Taylor and Tom Holloway – have been responsible for many of the improvements around town, including buildings at the Doc Cramer Athletic Complex and renovations at the Pine Street building, which now blends in with the Bay Avenue Community Center campus.

With the reinforced floor, the pavilion won’t run into the same problems the old center did, Moran explained. In SuperstormSandy, floodwater caused soil liquefaction to occur under the building, destroying its integrity. (A saturated soil can substantially lose strength and behave more like a liquid than a solid.)

“Settling will not be an issue,” Conklin said.

All the men agreed Councilman Ray Fix, a former commercial roofing foreman, has been a big help in offering his expertise, in terms of the planning and layout, tricks of the trade.

Everybody has a hand in making it successful, Moran said.

“We envision it being used for everything from science classes to weddings,” Moran said. Tables can be brought in as needed for special events.

Electric can be used at the park to illuminate some trees between the pavilion and the community garden. In the lot alongside the pavilion, grills will be installed. The whole area will be graded, irrigated and re-sodded; some additional parking spaces and benches will be placed near the tennis courts.

Weather has been a factor in delaying progress of the project, Taylor said. But they’re on track to finish for the pavilion to be a gathering place around the holidays. The town will plant a new evergreen tree in front of the park sign, in time for the annual public lighting.  —V.F.

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