Pavilion Paves way for Preserving Park

By: Aaron Oberlin

Students in the school of architecture and community design at the University of South Florida presented models for a pavilion to be built at Riverfront Park. The pavilion models presented will face a bat house that should be built in the future.


Four groups of students presented their models to Parks and Recreation Department Director James Chambers and Dana Carver, a planner for the Parks and Recreation Department. The presentations were all unique with concepts ranging from boxy models with bamboo supports to a circular model using recycled tires.


According to Stanley Russell, an architectural professor at the University of South Florida, some of the techniques being used are not currently used in Florida. They can be introduced in Temple Terrace.


One of the mentioned techniques is rammed earth. Russell says it is a construction method commonly used in the West. It is an age-old practice that is very durable. Building materials are cheap and sometimes free.


Carver hopes that people throughout the state will come to see the pavilion. He says it will give the park a “centralized structure.”


According to Carver, the main concern for the pavilion is budget. The current budget is $23,000. It was approved last year.


Other concerns for the pavilion is its ease of maintenance, vulnerability to vandalism and its ease of use for the elderly. The concerns were made apparent by the questions both Chambers and Carver asked the students during their presentations.


According to Russell, the designs will be decided on Oct. 30. After that, the students will make construction drawings. The drawings will then be submitted to the city for a building permit. “Once we have the permit, we’re good to go.”


Russell says construction is set for January and should finish by the end of the semester, which is in April.


Chambers and Carver are certain that the pavilion project will be completed next year.


According to Chambers, the city chose USF students for the project because the city gets a park structure cheaper than through a contractor. Plus, the students benefit from getting to design it. “It’s the perfect partnership.”


Russell says normally the students present their ideas to other faculty and then receive feedback. In this case, the students actually get to present their design to the client and hear their input. This experience is “invaluable.”


Russell is in the process of starting a design/build program that will have the university and its students working with nearby cities on construction projects. An example of there past work is a pavilion at the Franciscan Center in Tampa, which is a center for personal and spiritual renewal.


With the pavilion being an apparent certainty, what is not certain is the construction of the bat tower. Fund raising is still a concern.


Last month, the city council approved a bat tower to be built at the park. It will be a landmark of an original tower constructed in the 20s that was vandalized and burned down in the 70s.


“We hope this will be a functional bat tower to help with mosquito control, and use fewer pesticides. Get back to the old form of mosquito control, and also as a landmark.” Chambers says. Currently, there are ten small, functional bat houses in the area. They are smaller than a dog house. These were constructed in an attempt to increase the population of bats.


According to Temple Terrace city records, the pavilion and bat house are part of the Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program, which acquires land for preservation. This current project is aimed at the 108-acre Riverfront Preserve which is located behind Florida College and Terrace Hill Golf Course.

ELAPP, according to the Hillsborough County website, works with organizations throughout Florida such as the City of Tampa, City of Temple Terrace, Southwest Florida Water Management District and Conservation and Recreational Lands Program.


4 Responses to “Pavilion Paves way for Preserving Park”

  1. usfadvancedreporting Says:


  2. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Very good. I would just watch out with some of your attributions. Saying “according to” is risky. A lot of times you can say the person or organizations name at the end of your paraphrase, and it sounds better.
    just an opinion though!

  3. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    very informative

  4. Priscilla Says:

    I just hope for the school to choose any of the student’s model.

    Interesting story

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