Jacksonville’s city council made the decision at its meeting last week. The first phase of the four-part project was started at the end of the summer.
The project is being headed up by the city’s Parks and Lakes Department. Department head Bruce Surratt says he’s ready to go for Phase 2.
“Phase One was the new restroom facility inside. It looks terrific, it’s all handicap-accessible. Phase 2 will be the outside deck of the building. Once that has been completed, we can actually start renting it out again,” says Surratt.
“It doesn’t complete the laundry list of things I’d like to do to it that need to get done, but those were [the first and second] priorities, and it would allow us to open it back up for rental. [It’s] been closed for over a year now.”
The first phase of the renovation cost about $75-thousand, which is what was budgeted. Surratt guesses it would cost $150-thousand to re-do the pillars, porch and reinforcements, but he says it’s difficult to know until they strip away what’s covering that. He says that process would take about a year.
Surratt says fully restoring the pavilion could bring it back to a different era in a positive way.
“There was a time years ago that the building was booked every weekend- every weekend. And back then, it was $100 a shot, I think, so you’re talking about $5,000 to $10,000 that’s booked Saturday and Sunday,” he says.
“We’ll look at the rate again, probably increase that a little bit since it will be new and improved, and get some more money flowing in. We’re always looking for sources of income, you know. The dollar’s evil, but we gotta have it,” adds Surratt.
Surratt says it could be rented out at the same time the third and fourth phases are ongoing.