The bandstand in Pioneer Park has been granted a second lease on life - provided the city can come up with money to renovate the 60-or-so-year-old platform.
The City Council opted Tuesday to look for about $22,000 to add to $10,000 already set aside to reconstruct the bandstand, after hearing from a handful of Provo residents who favor preserving the weather- and time-worn structure."I think it should be finished and fixed up so we can have a nice park and a nice place to go to in our neighborhood," said Peggy Benson, a south Provo resident.
"We understand it is not usable the way it is," said Ken Leetham. "We understand it is an eyesore the way it is. That is why we want it restored."
Leetham suggested the city use grant money to refurbish the bandstand and let city crews do as much of the renovation work as possible.
The bandstand was built in the 1920s with money raised by the Retired Professional Women of Provo. Pioneer Park, at 500 West and Center Street, was the site for city-sponsored concerts for many years. The concerts began attracting more people than the park could handle and were moved to North Park, 500 N. 500 West, some years ago, said Raylene Ireland, administrative assistant to Mayor Joe Jenkins.
Recently, the bandstand has been used only two to three times per year, said Leroy Dennis, parks director.
The council has wrestled for the past three years over what to do about the bandstand, considered a liability and a safety hazard in addition to being unsightly. Last year the council set aside $10,000 to remove the bandstand's foundation and refurbish the structure, but bids on the project came in $8,000 to $28,000 more than the council had budgeted. The council was considering tearing down the bandstand.
"In terms of sentiment and practicality, we haven't been able to bring the two together," Councilman Ron Last said.
Sentiment won out Tuesday, with the council vowing to look into obtaining more funds to rebuild the top of the bandstand, repair or replace its metal columns and remove the base so the structure sits on a cement pad on the ground.
Also, flowers and shrubs will be planted around the bandstand, and a historic plaque noting its origin will be placed on it. Residents of the Franklin neighborhood will be asked to serve on a committee overseeing the project.