Crumpled pavilion won’t be replaced in time for picnics

Town’s insurance provider investigating cause

It could be a long road ahead as the town of Crested Butte attempts to rebuild its damaged picnic pavilion in Rainbow Park.
The new pavilion, which was never used by the public, collapsed on Sunday, February 24.


Crested Butte finance director Lois Rozman told the Town Council on Monday, March 3 that it will likely be some time before the situation is resolved and a new structure is erected. “Just be patient,” she said.
After the meeting, Rozman explained that the town is working with its insurance carrier. “We can’t even begin the clean up until the insurance people and engineers have all done their site visits and tests,” Rozman said, explaining the process can take weeks.
The cause of the collapse is still being determined.
As many town residents noticed, the pavilion roof had not been shoveled. Rozman said the pavilion was “on the list” of municipal buildings to be cleared off but the town’s contractor was backlogged. “We had two calls into the contractor to shovel it,” she said.
However, Rozman said the snow-load might not have been behind the failure and engineers are investigating just what went wrong.
“They’ll come up with their reports to determine what happened, whether it was a design flaw in the building or it had reached the 100-pound snow-load—that was what the building was supposed to be built to,” Rozman said.
The town purchased the $51,500 structure from Recreation Plus, which hired a contractor to assemble the building for $28,000 last summer. It was completed in September. Litchfield Industries manufactured the steel 40-foot by 75-foot structure.
With the cleanup of the structure on hold until the insurance carrier completes its study, town manager Susan Parker said it’s unclear how other parts of Rainbow Park will be affected. She hopes plans for the soccer field will go ahead but is not sure if the neighboring playground will re-open.
In any case, a new pavilion will not likely be installed in time for summer picnics.  
In addition, Rozman said the town isn’t sure of the extent of damage to equipment being stored underneath the pavilion, including benches, bear-resistant trashcans and picnic tables. The town will take an inventory after it gets the go-ahead to commence cleanup.
Even though the collapse is inconvenient, Rozman said, it’s better that it occurred now—rather than in a few years when the building was no longer under warranty.
“It’s better now because we can deal directly with the contractors,” she said. “Four years from now, it would have been a different story.”

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