With Mother Nature not cooperating, it was down to the wire for crews trying to complete an $80,000 renovation project improving the maintenance and longevity of the pavilion and restrooms at Bicentennial Beach Park in Indian Harbour Beach.
The existing rotting pavilion was built at a too-low an elevation, which allowed water to pool on the concrete.
The water and the salt air also corroded the brackets that attached the wooden structure to the concrete slab. Patched-together repairs were frequent. The new pavilion’s structure is concrete with a metal roof, on a raised slab.
The maintenance issues on the pavilion were brought to the City Council’s attention during the 2017 budget workshops, said City Manager Mark Ryan.
From there it has been a race against time with the goal of having the repairs finished and the pavilion open for Memorial Day. “The issue has been weather. It’s been dried in but it’s not functional,” Ryan said just days before the Memorial Day deadline, he said.
It was only four years ago when the city’s beach parks were serviced by port-o-lets, a practice Ryan did away with in favor of permanent restrooms.
Now the restrooms should last longer in the harsh beach environment, Ryan said.
“It was a little bit different for us going with metal roof. It’s a first for a city building in Indian Harbour Beach and this is our largest pavilion,’’ Ryan said.
Maintenance concerns are best addressed with planning and setting money aside specifically for the upgrade of facilities such as the improved bathrooms at the beach, he said.
“As we develop our capital improvement programs, we need to begin a program to set a certain amount of money aside each year for renovation and replacements,’’ he said.