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Safety first for park stage's new roof

Staff writer

Supports for a new roof over the stage at Central Park had to be shorn up to stabilize them for use this weekend during Art in the Park.

The roof, a project of Marion Advancement Campaign, was announced in May. The original plan was to have the project completed before Old Settlers Day on Sept. 25.

MAC member Gene Winkler said that after the roof was built, it was decided its 6-by-6-inch support posts needed additional support to hold up the roof.

Additional 6-by-6-inch upright posts were added this week, and shorter 6-by-6 pieces were angled between the lower portion of the upright posts and a concrete base.

None of the new pieces are anchored to the concrete base, and the angled pieces show deep cracks.

“It’s just more or less to stable those posts that are there,” Winkler said. “The way it was fastened at the bottom, it just wasn’t stable enough.”

New brackets for the posts are on order, and it’s hoped the brackets will arrive by the weekend.

Additions to the bottom of the support posts will hold the roof stable for both events even if nothing more is done, Winkler said.

Andy Hanson, MAC board member, said that when the organization originally planned the roof, it planned for a metal roof underside. Later, that was changed to a tongue-and-groove underside, which added weight to the roof.

That’s why additional support posts were added, he said.

Although the added support posts are not anchored to concrete, merely propped in place with angled 6-by-6 boards, they will hold for now, Hanson said.

Hanson said a local metal fabrication company was making the metal brackets to anchor the support posts. He said he thought the brackets already had been or will be completed Monday.

Hanson said the original and added upright posts are bolted together.

MAC board chairman Mike Powers said that an engineer was supervising the project and that his directions were being followed.

“It is not a finished project, but it is what was done for safety purposes to make sure everything is fine before we do the rest of what we intend to do,” Powers said.

Powers said concrete would be added to the base of the supports and finished with decorative stone.

“We regret that the project took as long as it did,” he said.

Last modified Sept. 16, 2021

 

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