Janesville28.4°

Optimist Park lays groundwork for pavilion

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Shelly Birkelo
May 29, 2013

What it is: A 16-by-30-foot park pavilion in the 35-acre Optimist Community Park at Ruger Avenue and Wuthering Hills Drive.

Excavation started May 16, and construction will finish by late May or early June, depending on the weather, said Tom Presny, city parks director.

The $15,000 cost of building the pavilion was raised by the three Janesville Optimist clubs—Tuesday Breakfast Optimists, Wednesday Breakfast Optimists and Thursday Noon Optimists.

Hired contractors are building it with help from the Optimist clubs, said Al Draeger, president of the Tuesday Breakfast Optimist Club and co-chairman of the pavilion project.

Optimists and members of the Janesville Lacrosse Club will landscape around the shelter, he said.

An electrical pedestal with multiple outlets will be located adjacent to the pavilion that will be filled with picnic tables.

The pavilion will be open for public use year-round on a first-come first-serve basis, so reservations are not necessary, Presny said.

The new pavilion "helps to accommodate the high use that currently exists over multiple seasons at the park between soccer, lacrosse and football," he said.

The Optimists have spent about $100,000 making improvements to the park established in 1992, and city staff has provided oversight and coordination so park facilities are similar to facilities in other parks.

The city also makes sure materials are long-lasting and vandal-resistant, Presny said.

"This is a significant project for the Optimist clubs that has been many years in the planning and fundraising. So we would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Optimists in Janesville and thank them for a wonderful improvement for the whole community," Presny said.

The pavilion is part of the park's development plans, Draeger said.

"We felt we should have a shelter for people to have a quiet place to have their own personal picnics, for the Optimists to host events like its Movies in the Park and for the cross-country and lacrosse teams who want to sell concession stand food," he said.



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