Diggin’ it at the Pavilion
A walk to the east end of the Downtown Mall these days feel a little more like time travel thanks to the major excavation and construction going on at the Pavilion. Hasn't that place been done since spring of 2005? And didn't we already live through months and months of construction inconvenience?
"We like to do this every year," jokes Pavilion GM Kirby Hutto, "you know, have the bulldozers out there the day before the first show." Seriously, says Hutto, the work under way has always been planned.
The Pavilion "has never been finished," he says, because of the rush to get the job done in time for the Loretta Lynn opening and the rest of the 2005 season. In particular, the grassy area at the back of the amphitheater was never graded the way Pavilion honchos had hoped, and certain architectural details– including an improved handicap accesible ramp from the Mall level down to seating– were never completed.
In addition to those things, Hutto says contractor Martin Horn is constructing a 16-inch-high brick wall that will run all the way across the back arc where the lawn meets the slab.
"It's one of the parklike features we wanted to have in there," says Hutto. "If we don't have any chairs out, there will still be a place for people to sit. It's going to make the lawn area a little more inviting year round."
Hutto says the work, which started just after the first of the year, is expected to wrap by April 1, in plenty of time for the TBA first Pavilion show of the 2007 season.