A plan is clearly moving forward to provide a central place in Pauls Valley’s Wacker Park where people can truly come together.

That place will someday be a pavilion meant to give people a site for all kinds of activities, such as picnics, reunions or just enjoying a nice day outdoors.

Discussions about the proposed pavilion took place when members of the local Park and Tree Board recently met with city council members.

It appears their goal of getting the pavilion construction going fairly soon will have to wait just a little bit longer so it can better fit in with a separate but much larger project intended to bring a community recreation center and outdoor swimming pool to the local park.

“I think we have plenty of money to do this, and we would like to go ahead and build this pavilion,” said board member Cynthia Turney.

“Our park needs a pavilion where people can have reunions, picnics and things like that. I think it will be well used,” she said.

“We just don’t want to see it drag out for a long time.”

Although council members made it clear they support the pavilion all the way, they want the construction start to be delayed so it can be included in the initial planning process for the recreation center project.

“They could tell us exactly where the best location would be for the pavilion in relation to the rec center,” City Manager James Frizell said, referring to planners involved with the larger project.

That planning process is expected to begin in February or March.

Turney described the future pavilion as a 40 feet by 60 feet facility that could someday be spruced up with brick columns paid for by private funds.

Current plans call for the pavilion to be placed near the site of the park’s former outdoor swimming pool, which has long since been filled in and is now only a part of local history.

Original plans were to get construction started this next spring.

However, the delay is expected to push that back into the summer months.

As for the cost, Turney said estimates show it could fall in the range of $25,000 to more than $40,000. The project will have to go through the public bidding process before it can begin.

“We have enough money to fund the actual structure, the roofing and the electrical,” Turney said about funds now in fund earmarked for the park.

The council expressed its clear support for the pavilion project.

“Personally I would like to see three or four of these out there,” Vice Mayor Billy Riddle said.

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