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Initial pavilion renovation plans revealed

Alexander Sinn • May 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Under a new roof, the “historic” pavilion building at Grand Haven State Park will undergo interior renovations.

The initial plans for the project were recently released by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. They entail improvements to restrooms, shelters, vendor areas, breezeways and the pavilion’s second floor, where a rental opportunity may be considered in the future.

DNR Unit Manager Pat Whalen said the plans are a “concept design,” and there will likely be changes made to them along the way.

The first phase of the project, supported by a $1.9 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., brought extensive parking lot repaving with the addition of about 70 spaces, and the replacement of the pavilion’s roof. The roof work is expected to wrap up this week, Whalen said.

The second phase goes inside the building, which once contained concession stands, public seating and second-story housing for staff, according to DNR officials. The space has recently been used for storage. Whalen said toilets and sinks will be added to accommodate more park visitors.

The building features three open-air pavilion areas, three vendor spaces and a first aid station.

City Manager Pat McGinnis told the Grand Haven City Council on Monday about the plans. An elevator is planned to reach the second floor, which he said could be converted into a rentable space.

“It sure is underutilized space,” he said of the “historic” facility. “They wanted to keep the essential structure much the same as they could.”

The brick pavilion was built in 1938 near the center of what was called the Oval, with funds from the Works Progress Administration, a Depression-era agency, according to local historian Dr. Wallace Ewing.

Whalen said the project will be bid out after the designs are completed, which he said will likely take place sometime after Labor Day.

The renovations are funded by a grant of $1.5 million from a state Legislature appropriations package approved late last year.

The plans are available for viewing at Grand Haven City Hall.

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