2011-08-11 / Editorial

Hilltop better site for a new pavilion

It was disappointing that the Town Council last week voted to build the new Fort Getty pavilion on the same site as the old structure which collapsed after a snow storm this past winter.

This would be a perfect time to eliminate several nagging issues associated with the old pavilion. Probably the biggest complaint I’ve heard over the years about the old pavilion was the wind: There was too much of it.

Yes, the old pavilion acted like a giant funnel to capture the sea breeze. It did a darn good job, too. In the offseason the town could have leased the building to NASA as a wind tunnel. The place would have been perfect for testing new spaceship designs. The wind whipped through the open structure with such ferocity that the town was forced to install curtains in an attempt to block the breeze. However, the curtains did not really do that good of a job at stopping the wind, which just blew around the curtains. Those people inside the pavilion were often cold and uncomfortable. It’s hard to have a good time when faced with a Force 10 storm indoors.

The old pavilion was also prone to flooding. A good storm at high tide would often flood the pavilion which was adjacent to a low lying beach. Town workers would have to clean up the mess afterward. A move to the top of the hill would certainly eliminate the flooding problem. There is also the added benefit of the terrific view.

The new pavilion should also comply with the Fort Getty Master Plan. It seems silly to spend all that time and energy to develop a master plan for the town-owned park and just ignore it when we build a new pavilion.

The pavilion site decision was far from unanimous. The Town Council voted 3-2 to put the new pavilion on the site of the old structure. Perhaps it’s not too late to take another look at the alternative on top of the nearby hill. If you’d like to vote on the matter, go online to www.JamestownPress.com where we’ve set up an informal poll.

— Jeff McDonough

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