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Original Academy Park pavilion rendering courtesy of Fittante Architecture and the Village of Lewiston.
Original Academy Park pavilion rendering courtesy of Fittante Architecture and the Village of Lewiston.

Village of Lewiston approves plan for smaller Academy Park pavilion

by jmaloni
Fri, Feb 23rd 2024 11:00 am

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

Trustees in the Village of Lewiston on Tuesday modified and then approved plans to build a pavilion in Academy Park.

Board members asked for a more-compact shelter, so as to save money – and possibly embellish the structure.

“I would like to challenge engineering to make it smaller and a little different,” Trustee Nick Conde said. He suggested a smaller footprint – 80 feet by 40 feet – with less concrete, higher pillars, scissor trusses, custom columns with woodgrain, and a copper cupola.

“A different look to it than what was proposed and what was approved by Planning.”

The exterior roof was set to be metal, with vinyl siding, and an interior ceiling utilizing a soffit seal to prevent wildlife from nesting. Mayor Anne Welch asked for more of a peaked underside.

“If we make it 40-some-percent smaller, we can save some money there, and put a little better quality to it,” Conde said.

The pavilion will be located next to the Alphonso I. DiMino Memorial Band Shell in the park’s southwest corner. It was designed by Jim Fittante of Fittante Architecture, who also serves on the village’s Historic Preservation Commission.

He said, “The designs were smooth columns to match the columns that are on the bandshell. All the colors are to reflect on there, too.”

Moreover, Fittante noted his plan was more cost-efficient, in terms of design elements.

“It wouldn’t be less-expensive, for sure,” he said of the suggested architectural changes.

At last week’s HPC meeting, Fittante explained his original concept, at 6,600 square-feet (60 feet wide by 110 feet long), “takes up 2% of the green space of the (5-acre) park. It’s very minimal.”

He said a pavilion of that size could hold up to 300 people. However, at the Planning Commission meeting, board member and architect David Giusiana suggested the shelter could hold almost 1,000 people depending on event type and layout.

“The actual size … is pretty reasonable for the size of the park,” Fittante said. “Every park that you can think of that brings people into the park have pavilions or shelter structures. It just gives people a place to come to … and get out of the shade, get out of the rain. Almost every event that we have at that park will benefit from that pavilion being there.”

Currently, there is a stone pathway next to the proposed pavilion site, but that might be removed.

Deputy Mayor Vic Eydt said, “Because of where (the pavilion will be) located, we’re not touching any trees. That was a big factor in where it’s located.

“The other factor is there is a 12-inch water line in the village that comes right down to that park. From where we had it (originally pegged), we had to move it over about 5 feet so we’re not straddling that 12-inch water main.”

Original Academy Park pavilion rendering courtesy of Fittante Architecture and the Village of Lewiston.


“This has been well-thought-of over the last probably three years,” Fittante said. “There has been thought about the ice pavilion, for ice skating – this was placed to complement (that), if it was ever to be brought back. It could be placed to the side of it. The existing electrical that’s there is going to be relocated to be accessible at this location for the ice rink, if it were to ever come back, or anything future. That could handle it.”

He added, “The back side of the columns are going be flat, so they can accept any type of a roll-down enclosure, or anything on the backside.”

HPC board member Rita Geiben said, “I like that you complemented both buildings and you kind of drew them in together. I think that’s really going to be (nice). I like it.”

Chairwoman Loretta Frankovitch said, “I think we need (a pavilion) there.”

“Every park does,” Fittante said.

Planning Board member Joe Sorce said, “It’s a great addition to the village.”

Welch said the pavilion in Marilyn Toohey Park outside of the Red Brick Municipal Building “is constantly in use. We rent it constantly and everybody loves it.

“I think, up in our premier park, it’s very important to have a park pavilion.”

Welch has said the Academy Park pavilion could be used by the Lewiston Kiwanis Club for the annual Niagara County Peach Festival, and by the merchants at the Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market.

“I think it’s needed,” she said. “The Peach (Festival) tent, instead of spending $10,000 on a peach tent, they can use our pavilion. Also, we were hoping that the farmers market could use it when it’s raining. It will shelter them.

“We talked, down the road, if we were able to put an ice rink back, that would work as a shelter.”

She added, “There was a lot of meetings; a lot of discussion. Everybody was for this project.

“Honestly, a park pavilion is really needed … and it doesn’t take up (a lot of space). We have to put it in that location, because of the Peach Festival. We can’t go over to the other side because they put all the rides there. So, it was the most logical place to put it, which would also complement the bandshell.

“We originally wanted restrooms on it, but it’s a little expensive to do that.

“We could always add to it down the road, if we get more funding.”

Welch added, “When it comes to the pavilion, we’ll be able to also probably put a sidewalk on the side there, so people can use it for access.”

Last October, the Town of Lewiston voted in favor of providing the village with $190,000 in Greenway funding for the pavilion. Welch said the municipality also has $120,000 from private donations. Initial project costs for the larger-size pavilion ranged from $325,000 to $350,000.

In awarding the Greenway money, Supervisor Steve Broderick stipulated Town of Lewiston Building Inspector Tim Masters be involved in the inspection of the final plans before they’re sent out to bid, that the bids be sealed, that Broderick see the bids when they’re received, and that Masters inspect the pavilion.

Lewiston Assembly of God Church is hosting a carnival event from 3-9 p.m. Saturday, May 11, in Academy Park and at the Alphonso I. DiMino Memorial Band Shell to raise funds to purchase picnic tables for the pavilion.

Welch said she’s hopeful the pavilion will be built by the start of summer.

2024 could be a big year for Academy Park, with additional plans in place for new Greenway-funded bike trails, and an art wrap around the comfort station. Metal art frames might be installed on the site’s east and north sides.

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