CONNEAUT LAKE — The new gazebo sitting on the shore of Conneaut Lake is nearly complete three months after ground was broken in June.
All the work is done except the landscaping and some cleanup, according to Paul Huber, board member of the South Lake Preserve, which contracted for the structure.
The 18-foot wide gazebo will be used for musical concerts as well as by the public for other events.
Although the work is near completion, there is one more thing that needs to be done: The project needs another $20,000 to $25,000 to pay for the nearly $160,000 project.
Huber, who is chairman of fundraising for the gazebo, said initial costs were $125,000 but as time went on, like everything else in today’s economy, the costs went higher. For example, he said the copper bell with the brass eagle on top nearly doubled in price.
Huber said the public’s response has been good, noting the Dietrich Foundation contributed to the project substantially. In recognition of that, a plaque in Bill Dietrich’s name will be erected inside the gazebo. He said the donations have included several $10,000 checks as well as other four-figure and three-figure checks.
The organization is hoping the public will respond with donations to pay the balance. As it stands right now, the Preserve will use funds from another account and then repay that account when the funds are received.
In the meantime, Huber is working to secure some musical entertainment for the future as well.
He said Shades of Time is one band that he is contacting but is uncertain because of the season whether that will be this fall or not until next spring or summer.
“It’s tough because the days are getting shorter,” he added. He also is hopeful to have some members of the Erie Philharmonic present a concert.
And, he said, the public will be able to use it for weddings or other events.
The idea of the gazebo came about when Bob and Kathy Moss and Bobbie and Dr. Robert Moyers were at a boat show several years ago and saw a gazebo in that town. Both men agreed that Conneaut Lake needed a gazebo like that.
From there, plans were developed and sketches of the planned structure were made and a contract awarded to Gildea Construction of Meadville to build it.
In addition to the landscaping, some of the benches in the park have to be moved so the visitors have a better view of the gazebo and its participants.
Huber is pleased with the work done and praised Roger Gildea for his work on the project. He also commended Harve Peterson, who volunteered his services to oversee the project, and Henry Wikris, who donated his services for the copper portion of the gazebo.
Huber said in addition to the plaque for the late Bill Dietrich, who set up the Dietrich Foundation which has annual funds available for borough nonprofits, plans are to honor those who make donations with their names on another plaque near the gazebo.
Anyone wishing to make donations may send checks to South Lake Preserve, in care of Paul Huber, 16033 Harmonsburg Road, Meadville, PA 16335.
Anyone wishing to reserve the gazebo for the future may contact Christine Morian at the Conneaut Lake Borough Building.
Huber anticipates the grand opening will be in mid-October.