Kiwanis Pavilion dedicated at Cle Elum City Park May 19, 2021

Article reprinted with permission from the Northern Kittitas County Tribune newspaper, originally appearing in the May 27, 2021 edition of the paper. Printed copies available here (select this date) or digital download version here.


Cle Elum City Park’s Kiwanis Pavilion story

by Jim Fossett | Northern Kittitas County Tribune Reporter | [email protected]

Time had taken its toll on the 35 year old gazebo picnic shelter in the Cle Elum City Park. Kiwanis Club of Cle Elum spearheaded a $125,000 replacement project, and in May of 2021, a brand new Kiwanis Pavilion was dedicated. photo credit: N.K.C. Tribune, Jim Fossett and Terry Hamberg.

CLE ELUM – Wednesday, May 19, around 4:30 p.m. the city dedicated the new Kiwanis Pavilion at Cle Elum City Park.
Said City Planner Lucy Temple, “The music was excellent, food was great, and the presentation was informative. Seeing all the smiling faces was the best.

“In addition to representatives from nearly all the project’s funding partners, we shared time with planning commissioners, six city council members, the parks committee and city staff, the Cle Elum Downtown Association, and community members. Of the 100 hotdogs funded to provide guests with a free meal, about 110 were served.”

For years the need for this project was obvious. The deteriorating, age-old gazebo at the park needed some help. Then in 2018 Cle Elum Kiwanians got serious about helping.

Said longtime Kiwanian Larry Scholl, “At one point Mayor Jay McGowan himself was out there trying to shore it up with timbers, but we all knew it was just a fix that wouldn’t withstand the ravages of time, so we thought that because we built it in 1984, we should build a new one.”

Scholl said the club considered different options.

“At one point it was suggested we use some of the leftover beams the city had in storage and incorporate those in a rejuvenated gazebo. But the $120,000 price tag for that project was prohibitive, much more than the club could handle, so we started looking for partners to work with us – but that never materialized.”

Years later the price on the “leftover beams” option rose to $250,000. In addition, the beams were no longer available.
“So we again looked for partners and again that effort went nowhere,” Scholl said.

The kickstart

After three years of talk and no action, in January 2020 Kiwanis decided to go it alone.

“To get started,” Scholl said, “I contacted Lucy Temple for some ideas about what kind of replacement structure we should go for, and she researched a number of options for us.

“Eventually we settled on a company called Natural Structures in Baker City, Oregon. They had a number of designs and materials we liked.

“The old gazebo measured 30 square feet. The octagonal model we chose from Natural Structures measured 45-feet across and cost about $65,000 not including tax and shipping.”

Scholl said he began meeting with Temple and the City Parks Committee regularly and he eventually presented the proposed project to the city council on February 24, 2020, on behalf of the Kiwanis Club, just before the COVID-19 outbreak gripped the state.

“The council approved our plan and the model we chose, so we ordered it the next day, Tuesday, Feb. 25.”
Scholl said the club was looking at a 90-day delivery schedule – but then the pandemic interfered.

“After placing the order, Natural Structures staffers suffered a quarantine. And because the model we chose was 45-feet across with no center support, we had to have it re-engineered to support the snow-load for our region to be able to withstand 110 mph winds and to make sure the large footings for the structure would not injure roots from the legacy evergreens surrounding the construction site that the mayor considered one of the park’s and the city’s precious treasures.”

Scholl said the trick was finding an engineer licensed in Oregon and in Washington who could get to work on the project quickly.

“In the end, the re-engineering project set us back a couple of months.

“The final design called for foundations for posts 42-inches into the ground, five-foot square, and 12-inches thick. The concrete piers on top of that were 36-inches in height and 24-inches square. This was just to hold up the roof.
“By comparison, the old gazebo roof was held up by recycled power poles sitting atop a four-inch concrete pad.”


Next, Scholl and Temple came up with a budget for the project.

“Before we were done we had to add another $60,000 for other costs, such as excavation, wiring and so on.”
Scholl applied for grants from the Shoemaker Foundation, Rotary and the Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement.

“We got dollars from all of them. For instance, Rotary purchased $20,000 in new vandal-resistant benches and picnic tables. The Suncadia Fund provided another $7,500 for a drinking fountain and incidentals needed for that project. The Shoemaker Foundation chipped in $7,900 for concrete. Dollars from the city’s lodging tax fund helped with roofing and signage costs. Along with $70,000 from Kiwanis, we ended up with a $125,000 budget.”


Scholl said the next step was to find people who would help to erect the new structure, to be named the Kiwanis Pavilion.

“Cle Elum’s Rent Me Rentals owner Paul Dearmin volunteered the forklifts we would need to unload the entire shipment of materials from Natural Structures and to lift the heavy steel components into place while they were bolted together.

“Jeff Schafer, at Merle Inc., volunteered labor and equipment to pour footings for the six posts.

“Devin Casto at Inland Construction donated time and labor to erect the frame.

“We also needed someone capable of pouring the concrete slab, so I contacted an old friend in the concrete business, Mike Poppoff, for advice on who he might know in the area capable of doing the pour. He said he and his son Matt at Yakima’s Poppoff Concrete Construction, would volunteer the labor, equipment and even the concrete pumper-truck needed to pour the six-inch concrete slab at no cost to Kiwanis. Their crew set the forms, too, and they donated the same equipment so that Schafer could pour the footings.

“Jeff Hutchinson at Ellensburg Cement Products donated $600 worth of concrete.”

Scholl said acquiring the rebar needed was another story of beneficence.

“Gary Wargo had been overseeing construction of the school district’s new bus barn and he told me he’d had good luck with Yakima’s Huber Rebar.

“We already had a $650 bid for rebar, so I called Poppoff and asked about Huber. Poppoff told me he’d bought out the Huber Rebar Company a year ago and that he’d furnish the rebar and bend it to our specifications free of charge.”

Breaking ground

Scholl said pouring the concrete was tricky business.

“That’s because we were dealing with an octagon-shaped building, so placement of the foundation piers and posts had to be exact. The 1-by-14 inch bolts holding down the posts had to be secured into the concrete piers. The posts came pre-drilled for the bolts. If either the location of the bolts or posts were even a fraction of an inch off, the rest of the building would not fit together. All of the structural components came pre-drilled. Even nuts for the threaded bolts were already welded in place. There was absolutely no room for error,” he laughed. “The posts also determined where the power lines would come up through the concrete. So, yes, everything absolutely had to be positioned perfectly. Shafer’s team did this job beautifully.

“Casto’s team was erecting the building so they had to drill into the concrete piers and epoxy the 14-inch bolts in place. If they had been off a quarter-inch the steel posts would not have fit.

“I’m explaining all this,” he laughed, “because the precision work they did was amazing to me!”

Scholl said that after Casto and his workers finished the assembly of the steel frame, one of the workers mentioned to him that he could hardly wait to bring his children and grandchildren to the pavilion and tell them that he had helped build this “beautiful structure.”

Scholl also mentioned that the quality and workmanship of the component parts of the structure was amazing.

“Everything was perfectly engineered and manufactured. There was not a single incident when something didn’t fit exactly as it was supposed to fit.”

The pavilion’s roof

Scholl said he received a labor bid of about $16,000 to install the pavilion’s roof.

“It was a complicated job requiring 502, 16-foot-long, 2-by-6 tongue and groove, double-layered fir planks, with one layer vertical and the other horizontal. Almost all of those 502 boards had to have an angle cut to make it fit.

“Trying to find a less expensive contractor, I contacted Ellensburg’s Davenport Construction and Roofing. I’ve known Walter Davenport for a long time. He gave us a labor bid of a little over $6,000. To finish the job it took 16 days, 12 of them consecutive – but there’s another story about the roof.”

Scholl said the roof, of course, was part of the Natural Structures you-build-it package, but the company that was supposed to provide Natural Structures the service of pressure treating and staining the fir planks went out of business because of the pandemic.

“Natural Structures did find another company in Salt Lake City to do that work so the lumber was shipped to Salt Lake City. However, when it came back it had been stained on only one side, meaning the planks had to be shipped back to Salt Lake City!” he laughed.

Scholl said after the roof planks were installed yet another layer of roofing was required.

“The planks were topped with metal sheets, and each one had to be cut to fit.”

Temple said she visited the park during construction one day to find Scholl personally cutting the tongue-and-groove boards and individually handing them up the ladder to the roofers.

Other key pavilion projects completed

Scholl said Andy Apers, a metal fabricator in Cle Elum, was contracted to build a kiosk designed for posting notifications. It features a memorial displaying the companies and names of all those who contributed to the pavilion project. Partly in jest, Scholl said, “The only thing preventing additional names from being memorialized are significant checks to the Cle Elum Kiwanis Club. Seriously though, it’s not too late for anyone to contribute and have their name on memorial.

“The kiosk is located along the sidewalk to the pavilion located to the south of the park.

“Ross Taklo of T&M Electric was contracted to install the breaker box, the wiring, the lights and outlets.”
Kudos to the city

Scholl wanted to make sure he offered his gratitude to Lucy Temple.

“She prepared our budget and adjusted it when we needed that done. She was so instrumental. She was the one who set us up with contacts for grants. It would have been difficult to do that without her. She also organized meetings with the parks committee and acted as a liaison with the city council.

“Mayor McGowan was on the site often checking progress.

“Mike Engelhart and the city public works crew demolished the old gazebo, hauled the debris away, prepped and leveled the construction site, dug holes for the foundation, and hauled in the gravel for the concrete slab’s bed. After the construction was finished, the city crew came in and cleaned up debris left on the site. They did such a super job.
“The generosity of several individuals, and especially businesses in Cle Elum and even neighboring cities, never ceases to amaze me. Whenever a need is revealed, someone always steps forward to fill that need. As a community, we can feel proud.”

Scholl said the project pretty well drained the Kiwanis Club’s treasury.

“The dollars in our budget represented years of serving coffee at Indian John Hill Rest Area for donations, gathering and selling Christmas trees, taking admission tickets at home athletic events, selling items at street fairs, and so on. The mission of Kiwanis is to serve the children of the community. That is what Kiwanis is about in Cle Elum and has been since 1922. Next year we celebrate our 100th anniversary.”

Article reprinted with permission from the Northern Kittitas County Tribune newspaper, originally appearing in the May 27, 2021 edition of the paper. Printed copies available here (select this date) or digital download version here.

Prelude: The teardown of the old structure a year earlier in May 2020 …

Bye bye City Park Gazebo

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2020 Public Works Director Mike Engelhart tasked a crew to demolish the aging gazebo Kiwanis erected at Cle Elum City Park on May 31, 1986. The project makes way for a new Kiwanis-sponsored gazebo to arrive in June. City Planner Lucy Temple is shepherding the project to completion. She said she would have more information on the project timeline in June. She said footings would be installed in the next two weeks with volunteer assistance from Merle, Inc.
photo credit: N.K.C. TRIBUNE/Jim Fossett • 2020

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