After much deliberation, Kremmling eyes new pavilion |

After much deliberation, Kremmling eyes new pavilion

Community members ask for more time with design process

The Kremmling pavilion on a sunny September day. Deemed unsafe, the pavilion is scheduled to be taken down in November, after Kremmling's Halloween celebration. A new pavilion is in the works with community input.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

Kremmling residents may soon see a new pavilion in the town square, as the current structure has been deemed unsafe and will be demolished in November. During the town’s September 2021 board meeting, Public Works Director Dillon Willson presented trustees with potential options for the new pavilion. The meeting had the one of the largest public turnouts ever. Trustees told community members the pavilion is their top priority, but debate over the timeline remains.

“I think it’s wonderful the town has proposed talking about the pavilion. It’s something that’s … highly visible, used by residents, visitors and groups,” said Michele Mier Zykowski, chairperson of the pavilion’s community design group, during the meeting’s public comment period.

In 2018 and 2019, the design group proposed a plan to the town that included the replacing the pavilion. At the time, the town expressed no interest, stating that its landscaping designs were too elaborate. Then, in 2021, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency Property and Liability Audit revealed that six of the pavilion’s main wooden support beams and part of the roof were rotting.

In May town manager Ashley Macdonald and the town board got serious about replacing the pavilion. They chose a timeline for completion by the Kremmling Days celebration in June 2023. During their Sept. 7 board meeting, the town asked for public input on two options for a new pavilion. At the time, Utah-based Smith Steelworks was town’s preferred vendor, and the community would only be able to choose colors and exterior additions.

Although town board discussions have been ongoing since the summer, some residents felt concerned they only received notice for involvement in September with limited choices. Zykowski, a longtime advocate for a new pavilion, spoke up.

“The town proposed a couple of options. We find ourselves with a much-shortened deadline of 2023 Kremmling Days,” she said. “The design group is asking that the town wait to vote to give the community more time.”  

Community member Rich Rosene agreed with Zykowski.

“I’d hate to the see the town move quickly just to meet what appears to me to be an artificial deadline. … I’d like really like to see a lot more thought and input,” said Rosene. “There’s a lot of opportunity to have a really good-looking pavilion but I think it needs time to have the proper planning, proper design.”

Advocates say there is also opportunity for a local designer. Zykowski told trustees she has been working with Kremmling builder Joe Harthun on pavilion plans since 2018. Harthun has experience with historic Western architecture.

“If the town gives us more time, we can create a more usable space that’s also attractive. We want to be practical; practical and attractive do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said Zykowski. “Please let the community build a pavilion we can be proud of … We can hopefully work together to create a plan and budget to make this right.”

Some trustees expressed that they want to replace the pavilion as soon as possible, while others questioned the expedited timeline. According to Macdonald, Smith Steelworks was chosen as a potential option to deliver a preconstructed pavilion structure to meet the Kremmling Days deadline.

“If we wanted to go with a custom, local design, we could have sought those specific types of bids,” she said.

All agreed that the pavilion needed to be demolished as soon as possible since it poses a potential safety risk. Willson estimated the complete demolition will take about four days. The town recommended putting up a sturdy tent during Kremmling Days in case of inclement weather.  

Some trustees discussed with Zykowski if Harthun would be able to come up with a wood post and beam design with small-town appeal, since not everyone was sold on the Smith Steelworks structure. Options include adding electricity, potable water or raised garden beds. They also considered something similar to the pavilion in Granby’s Polhamus Park.

“I believe whole-heartedly, given the time, (Harthun) could create an attractive proposal that would work wonderful there,” Zykowski said.

After much discussion, the trustees decided to table the options of the new pavilion for now, then come back to discussions in the next meeting. The community now has an accelerated timeline to come up with something they can be proud to put in Kremmling Town Square.

“One perspective is to view this as a blank living room. We have an opportunity to … dress it up, beautify it by adding curtains and pillows, our own accent colors, fixtures and features,” said Macdonald.

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