June 15, 2024

Group meets to plan the future of the Barrett Lakeside Pavilion

The Barrett Lakeside Pavilion

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A group of around 30 long-time Barrett people, with a love for the Lakeside Pavilion, met at the pavilion Saturday morning recently to discuss the historic building’s future. The meeting was moderated by Barrett City Council member Chery DeClercq, who began by telling the group, no matter what the rumors, the council is not, nor has it ever, seriously considered demolishing the building and selling the lakeside lot.

“The only option is preservation and restoration,” she said.

She added that the council will be supportive of whatever recommendations come out of this meeting, because the building is owned by the city, and thereby owned by the people of Barrett.

“Maintenance, cleaning, and mowing are paid out of the city budget.”

She said one consideration talked about is getting the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are four sites in Grant County so listed: Roosevelt Hall, in Barrett; the Grant County Courthouse, Elbow Lake; the Scofield Memorial Community Building and Thorson Memorial Library in Elbow Lake; and the Fort Pomme de Terre Historic Site.

Representatives from the Minnesota State Historical Society have expressed support for seeing an application for the Lakeside Pavilion. DeClercq said, however, there are many misnomers about such a move. One rumor is that once the building is listed, nothing can be done to it. She said that is not true, in fact the Courthouse added an elevator and central air following inclusion. Roosevelt Hall has had many building improvements.

DeClercq explained that an application was started in 2001, but never completed. Now, however, Bonnie Leraas, who has had experience, is working on an application, and will seek help if needed.

DeClercq said if the application is approved, it will open up the pavilion to federal grants.

She said another rumor is that the building is in bad shape. She said that is not true, it is in pretty good shape actually, recently painted, and new windows installed. Some lower siding is in bad shape and needs to be replaced. The floor has some issues but that is mainly because the roof leaks and leaks are not always cleaned up before they soak into the wood floor.

Les Alvstad, who brought a roofing contractor to the pavilion to evaluate the roof, said, “He found the shingles to be in good shape. The problem was when they were installed, no metal flashing was used in corners, around windows, or the roof peak. As a result, it leaks.”

The contractor estimated installing flashing would cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

DeClercq said the building needs a complete evaluation to see what needs to be done and approximate costs needed to do them.

Tony Ray, who has had experience booking the pavilion for dances, said the building would be booked a lot more if it was heated and air conditioned. He said this should be a priority.

Another priority that was mentioned, was the overgrowth along the shoreline, which restricts the view to users, and restricts fresh air flow.  Although no one at the meeting recalled the exact circumstances, around 21 years ago, the shoreline was involved in a project by the Grant County Soil and Water Conservation District to restore natural vegetation in an effort to combat erosion. Native trees, shrubs, and grasses were planted and non-native plants removed. The project was supported by SWCD for 10 years and then turned over to the city. The problem was overgrowth was allowed to take over. DeClercq said she mounted a personal mission to clean the area up last year and received some criticism from people who did not understand the circumstances. She felt more research and education needs to be done on this issue to find out what can and cannot be done to improve the grounds.

Meanwhile, DeClercq asked those in attendance to consider becoming a member of one of three committees to continue planning for the future of the Lakeside Pavilion: fundraising, building, and volunteers. A Facebook page will be set up to keep everyone in touch, or you can get in touch with her or Joyce Hanson at 320-424-9726.

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