By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Don Ball Park is getting a new look, thanks to local Rotarians.
Derry Village Rotary Club members officially broke ground last Friday for a new pavilion at the popular town park off Humphrey Road.
Derry Parks and Recreation officials have wanted a structure like this at Don Ball Park for some time, according to director Eric Bodenrader.
In a letter to the Town Council earlier this year, he said the park is so busy with its Splash Pad, fields and playground that people have been asking for something to offer a place to sit, enjoy a picnic and relax.
“We have seen a huge surge in park patronage during the summer months and we continue to receive numerous requests from the public for a designated picnic area and well as a location that provides shade and shelter,” Bodenrader said.
Derry Village Rotarian Susanne Bernier-Robinson said the club is very excited about the project.
The plan is to build the 30-by-50-foot pavilion at the park in a key location that overlooks the playground, Splash Pad area and fields.
The structure will be officially known as the “Derry Village Rotary Pavilion”
There have been past ideas for similar structures at the park, but they never were approved in the town’s budget cycle.
That’s when Derry Village Rotarians decided to step up to the plate. The Rotary Club plans to independently fund, build and then donate the structure to the town.
Rotarians secured the funding they needed and local businesses, including licensed contractors, have donated services and materials.
Interstate Landscape and Tri-State Window and Siding are key players in the pavilion project.
The area will include the installation of pavers that will be better suited to stand up to the area’s winter weather.
“We won’t have to worry about frost heaves,” Bernier-Robinson said. “That will look really nice.”
She said the Rotary Club has done projects at other areas, including Hood Park, the Robert Frost Farm and the Derry traffic circle, but it was time to think of another way to give back to the community. The pavilion was a perfect choice, she said.
There will no impact on the Recreation Department’s operating or capital budget as Derry Village Rotary Club is funding, constructing and donating the pavilion. The recreation department will be responsible for the structure’s upkeep and maintenance once it’s completed.
The work may take several weeks, Bodenrader said, with the majority of the work being done during the week when there is less activity at the park.