In response to David Watson’s commentary (“Stewart Beach Pavilion should be saved, not demolished,” The Daily News, March 27-28): I have to say, I disagree with the premise.

The Stewart Beach Pavilion has outlived its usefulness and needs to be replaced with a more sustainable, efficient and welcoming gathering place that can be a point of pride for Galveston residents and an attractive and welcoming place for visitors.

Having barely survived more than 37 years of abuse from the Gulf Coast’s wind, water and sand, concrete spalling is something that will never cease. That means money will have to be poured into the facility for spot repairs for the foreseeable future. Better building materials are available today to help mitigate this type of issue.

I’m all for recycling, but with a projected cost of $825,000 over two years, these repairs don’t seem like the best way to spend these funds.

Funding for a new pavilion is an issue, but it’s not a hurdle we can’t overcome. Funding options include sponsorships and grants and there’s a committee comprised of trustees and park board staff exploring public/private partnership opportunities to share in the cost for a more sustainable structure.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As someone who works for a company that has made huge investments in renovating historic properties on the island, I don’t see architectural attributes at the pavilion. I see a cinder block building that leaks like a sieve, rusty metal windows, outdated and impractical office space and areas that are no longer in use at all.

Instead of looking to the past, we should be looking toward the future. We need to build a structure that’s safe and sound, made from products that will be able to withstand the environmental conditions and that will last longer than our current structure has.

Stewart Beach Pavilion has seen better days. It’s time to move on and build something we can all be proud of.

Steven Creitz is a project manager for Mitchell Historic Properties and also is a trustee on the Galveston Park Board.

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(2) comments

Don Schlessinger

HMM, $825,000 for a rebuild plus cost overruns compared to $25-30 mil. plus cost overruns? I think I know how I will vote.

Bailey Jones

Every public building is an opportunity to make something special that will have significance for future generations. I hope the city doesn't miss this opportunity.

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