■ BY SUE ERWIN
The Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board on Wednesday morning unanimously approved a request to add a free-standing, covered pavilion over the outdoor concrete stage at the Boca Grande Community Center.
The addition would be constructed in the north-side courtyard with the intention to provide shade, rain cover and acoustic enhancement.
The fabric of the pavilion will be a combination of metal and wood, and the ceiling will have ornate panels underneath. The roofline of the structure will be below the roofline of the building itself. It will be designed by Michael Flanders Architecture.
Lee County Planner Peter Blackwell said the staff finds that the structure is not a problem for the historic building because it will not be attached to the building.
“It will be footed onto the concrete stage, but that stage was constructed in 1994 and is not part of the historical significant section of the building,” Blackwell said. “Staff definitely recommends that the Historic Preservation Board make a finding that the proposed pavilion is in compliance with the Secretary of Interior’s standards for rehabilitation and Lee County Land Development Code Chapter 22.”
Director of Lee County Parks and Recreation Jesse Lavender said he feels that, with the vast amount of events hosted each year by the Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center, the pavilion will be another great feature to add for the community.
“Right now, the stage does not have lighting or sound, and I think it would be a nice addition to have for future events,” Lavender said. “The Friends of Boca Grande has graciously raised enough funding for this project, and if it is approved, I’d like to see the project proceed quickly.”
There were no comments from the public.
Construction for the $180,000 project should begin in April of 2018.
The Historic Board members all agreed that the pavilion would be a great idea.
A motion was made to approve the request, and it passed.
It was noted that acoustics are becoming a problem at the meetings that have been held in the Houghton Room at the Community Center up to this point, and the ability of the room to accommodate larger crowds is also becoming an issue.
Moving ahead, the meetings will be held in the auditorium at the Community Center, since it has an adequate audio system. Lee County Parks and Recreation staff have rearranged the schedule to proceed with the meetings next month, through the end of 2018.
Board members attending the meeting were: Chair Paul Eddy, Vice Chair Rebecca Paterson, Susan Hanafee, Dana Robinette, Tim Siebert and Guerrino Savio.
The next meeting is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the Boca Grande Community Center auditorium.