Springfield Park Pavilion Takes Shape

By Pamela Powell | September 28, 2010

Rendering of Erin's Pavilion in Springfields' Edwin Watts Shoutwind Park.

Erin's Pavilion, the first of several buildings to be constructed on the 80-acre future home of the Edwin Watts Southwind Park in Springfield, IL, is on its way to becoming one of the most accessible and environmentally friendly welcome and visitor centers in the country. With the installation of the structural steel and Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) walls completed, the facility is taking shape and on pace to open in June.

The planned 15,000-square-foot pavilion, which is a collaboration between Springfield, IL-based architecture firm Walton & Associates Architects, a division of The Walton Group, and Vertegy, a St. Louis-based sustainability-consulting firm, is tracking for LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. It will serve as a welcome and community center as well as a special needs recreation and education center, accommodating the needs of individuals with all levels of disabilities and abilities in a setting that incorporates a host of environmentally friendly features.

While the physical structure of the pavilion is the most visible sign of progress, the project team also has completed installation of the loops for the nearby lake's hydrothermal system, which will serve as a heating and cooling source.

"The use of Insulating Concrete Forms, the pond loops and other energy-conserving features will save the Springfield Park District in utility costs year after year," says Todd Walton, president of Walton Management Consultants, the construction manager for the project.

Erin's Pavilion is being constructed with low-impact building materials, which use high amounts of recycled content. Upon completion, the building will include an abundance of natural daylight and water-conserving fixtures, as well as a 5,500-square-foot banquet space that can accommodate up to 300 people at one time or be subdivided into four separate rooms, which will be equipped to handle multimedia and all configurations of meetings and special events.

The remaining 9,500 square feet of the building will house oversized and family bathroom facilities, program rooms, entry hall, administration offices, conference room, storage, and electric and mechanical rooms. The 15,000-square-foot building also will include 5,000 square feet of patio space that will have both covered and uncovered space and will be adjacent to the building, providing views of the lake.

"We are excited to be involved with such a landmark project," says Thomas Taylor, general manager of Vertegy. "Erin's Pavilion is already serving as a springboard from which a variety of other sustainable features are being extended to the rest of the park, and we believe the potential exists for this to truly be a one-of-a-kind public space when finished."

The Springfield Park District is developing Erin's Pavilion and the other buildings and spaces in Edwin Watts Southwind Park with the goal of constructing one of the most accessible and sustainable parks ever built. Upon completion, the park will exhibit a multi-use design, providing year-round entertainment and recreation, education, unique water features, open green space, and natural habitats. Some of the additional features being incorporated into the park include fishing piers, a gazebo on the lake, a 2.5-mile urban trailway, a recreation center, Springfield Children's Museum, outdoor amphitheatre, three playgrounds, and a game play area.

Editor's note: Pamela Powell is an account representative with The Hauser Group, St. Louis.