BROWNSTOWN

The 40-foot-by-40-foot brick and concrete foundation of the pavilion has been placed, and a retaining wall is nearly complete.

Heritage Park in the center of the county seat is taking shape.

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Since mid-May, about a dozen volunteers have been working each day — when weather has allowed — to make way for a pavilion on greenspace at 121 E. Walnut St. in Brownstown.

“We’ve been blessed with a number of volunteers,” said John Nolting, a member of the Heritage Park committee and president of the Brownstown Town Council.

The volunteers have included Heritage Park committee and Brownstown/Ewing Main Street members, town employees, town residents and people donating their time and materials.

“I’m just tickled to death that everything’s getting done,” Nolting said. “I appreciate all of the volunteer labor we’re getting there. It has been fantastic how this thing is all of a sudden finally coming together.”

A week after the May 9 groundbreaking, volunteers began working at the 0.45-acre lot north of the Jackson County Courthouse.

This week, concrete will be poured for the ramp on the stage, and backfilling will be done to prepare for grading and seeding the grass.

Mike Tormoehlen, the general contractor for the project, said work will stop until the pavilion structure is installed.

Americana Building Products of Salem, Illinois, is designing and will deliver the prefabricated steel structure.

Later this month, Tormoehlen said, Recreation Unlimited of Noblesville will spend about a week assembling the open-air pavilion, which will have a metal roof with a cupola to match the look of the nearby Brownstown Public Library.

Carl Shake, owner of Brownstown Electric Supply Co., said some of his employees will install electricity and light poles for the park.

“We’ve got 16 LED lights that are going to be placed around it there, so it should be lit up pretty good,” Shake said.

Shake said he and Tormoehlen recently met with Margie Strange of Schneider Nursery Inc. to discuss the layout of the landscaping.

Tormoehlen told Nolting enough money is being saved on the project that there will be funding available to replace the sidewalk from the American Legion building to Sugar Street. Three handicapped parking spaces also will be placed in front of the American Legion.

“I’ve had three (American Legion) members tell me that they just think it’s great, and they really like the work and the improvements,” Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said.

“Everybody is talking about it in town,” Shake said.

Tormoehlen said he hopes to have the pavilion ready for use by the first part of July.

The structure costs $81,800. After a few unsuccessful attempts at landing a grant, the town learned earlier this year it was one of seven in Indiana chosen to receive a Place Based Investment grant from two state agencies. That’s valued at $50,000.

The Heritage Park committee also has received a $5,000 Community Impact grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County and collected more than $20,000 in donations on its own.

The town purchased the property in 2014 for $45,000. A $155,000 federal grant helped pay for the purchase and the $64,562 cost to demolish the two feed mill buildings and a silo.

The park committee sought feedback from the community for potential uses of the site, and the result was an open-air, permanent stage and green space for community events.

Initially, the park committee considered constructing a wooden stage built by volunteers. But Tormoehlen discouraged that and said a prefabricated steel structure would last longer and require less maintenance.

Tormoehlen was involved in the early designing process of the pavilion and helped with the grant paperwork.

Once the pavilion is constructed, restrooms, a storage area and pillars will be added as money becomes available.

Nolting said the park committee will continue to raise money for upkeep and other needs down the road. One planned fundraiser is selling pavers or bricks to place in front of the stage.

At a glance

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with tasks at Heritage Park may stop by Brownstown Town Hall, 200 W. Walnut St., or call 812-358-5500.

To contribute to the Brownstown Heritage Park Fund, visit the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, or call 812-523-4483.

Checks also can be mailed to the foundation at P.O. Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274. Checks should be made payable to “Community Foundation of Jackson County” with “Brownstown Heritage Park Fund” written in the memo.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.